Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) waves during the inauguration of Statue of Unity at Kevadiya village in Narmada district of Gujarat State, India, Oct. 31, 2018. (Xinhua)
NEW DELHI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the world's tallest statue in the country's western state of Gujarat.
The 182-meter-tall statue of the country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, more popularly known as Sardar Patel or "Iron Man of India," is situated in Kevadiya village in the Narmada district of Gujarat, also the home state of Modi.
The statue was built at a cost of over 400 million U.S. dollars.
Sardar Patel played a key role in India's freedom struggle, and was a popular leader committed to the farmers' welfare.
Wednesday also marks the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. The "Statue of Unity" will be open to the public from Nov. 3.
Located on the Sadhu Bet island near Rajpipla on the Narmada river, the statue is located between the Satpura and the Vindhya mountain ranges. A 3.5-km highway will connect the statue to Gujarat's Kevadia town, media reports said.
The statue is said to be strong enough to withstand wind velocity up to 60 meters per second, besides vibration and earthquakes. It has been built within three-and-a-half years by over 3,000 workers, including 300 engineers.
According to media reports, around 129 tonnes of iron implements were collected from nearly 100 million farmers in 169,000 villages across all states to construct the base of the statue in the "Loha" (means iron) campaign.