10 lifts zoom tourists to Statue of Unity viewing gallery
Mumbai : The Mumbai-based vertical transport solutions provider Otis India has installed 10 large lifts to zoom tourists onto the viewing gallery of the Statue of Unity, inaugurated recently in Gujarat, an official said here on Thursday.
Each lift, with a capacity of 26 passengers, takes around half-a-minute (30 seconds) to rise 400 feet to the viewers' enclosure on the chest of world's tallest statue (182 m) of India's first Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Otis India President Sebi Joseph said.
Of the 10, one is the high-speed Skyrise elevator which hurtles upwards at a speed of four metres per second, besides two other high-speed elevators which take up the visitors from the core of the gigantic statue, which has now become a tourist landmark.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Statue of Unity to the nation on October 31, the foundation stone of which he had laid as the Gujarat Chief Minister in 2013 at the Sadhu Bet river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the River Narmada.
"The Statue of Unity, apart from being a symbol of national pride, is a tribute to India's engineering skills and project management abilities," said S.N. Subrahmanyan, CEO and Managing Director, L&T, which constructed the statue out of the iron collected from half a million Indian farmers donating their used farming equipment.
Otis Asia-Pacific President Stephane de Montlivault said it was an honour for the 165-year-old company to work on the Statue of Unity and it adds to its list of lifts for globally famed structures like the Statue of Christ The Redeemer (Brazil), Eiffel Tower (Paris), Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Petronas Twin Towers (Malaysia) and Empire State Building (USA), among others.
The statue has been designed by renowned Indian sculptor Ram V. Suthar, 93, of Maharashtra, who has designed 50 other monumental structures including statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and G.B. Pant, among others.
The Statue of Unity complex is spread across 20,000 square metres and has a public plaza overlooking the river, food stalls, laser-light and sound show, gardens, hotel and convention hall, amusement park, research centres and a museum besides a memorial and exhibition depicting the life and times of Sardar Patel.