AHMEDABAD: On the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel today, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel performed the ground breaking ceremony of 'Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan' to be built at a cost of Rs 176 crore as part of the 'Statue of Unity' project near Kevadia in Narmada district.
In her speech on the occasion, the CM thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conceiving such a project in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, according to an official press release issued here today.
She said that just like the people of India had put their trust in Sardar Patel in the past, people have also put their trust in Modi.
She said that both Sardar Patel and Modi share similar personality traits, adding that Modi is surging ahead to realise Sardar's dreams, the release said.
In her speech, the CM said that the 'Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan' would not be a mere edifice of stone but a centre of research to study India's freedom struggle.
She claimed that the 'Statue of Unity' would attract tourists from all over the world and eventually create job opportunities for locals.
She said that the project of Statue of Unity, the world's tallest statue, would be completed within four years.
The concept of 'Shreshtha Bharat–Ek Bharat' is a natural corollary to honour Sardar Patel and his contribution to keep India united at the time of Independence, she said.
Earlier during the day, the Gujarat CM flagged off 'Run for Unity' near the Sabarmati riverfront here. Such events were also organised in all the major towns and cities of the state during the day.
Later, she went to Sardar Patel's ancestral village of Karamsad in Kheda district to inaugurate the 'Sardar Smruti Shala' memorial.
The school in which Sardar received elementary education has been turned into his memorial at a cost of Rs 1.20 crore by the Gujarat government.