Govt events are coming up at Statute of Unity to boost tourism

The venue of Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Narmada district is becoming a favoured tourist destination of the state, within two months after it’s unveiling by PM Narendra Modi.

In order keep the statute and the surrounding area in the limelight, the authorities are planning to have a series of national and state-level government events on the premises in Kevadia Colony.

A conference of state election commissioners to review the preparedness for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be hosted in the premises in February 2019. The meet is likely to be in the second week of February, though the exact date has not been announced.

Last week, the annual DGP conference has held in the premises and was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit of the statue on 20th December

A three-day International Kite Festival is also in the pipeline, to be hosted by the state government, which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on 8th January 2018. This international event, in which kite flyers from across the world take part, used to be held in Saputara hills till a year ago.

Commenting on the decision to conduct the Kite Festival beside the Statue of Unity, Gujarat Principal Secretary of Tourism, S J Haider said, both the places are important in their own ways and since the Statue of Unity is something truly iconic and new and becoming a global landmark, hence they have decided to chose it as the venue.

Apart from this, the state government is also envisages to start seaplane services from Sabarmati in Ahmedabad to the statue complex. Feasibility study of the same is underway.

“There are four places in our mind for the seaplane services — Sabarmati river (Ahmedabad), Shetrunji river (Bhavnagar), Dharoi dam (Mehsana), and areas around the Statue of Unity. At the moment, technical studies to start the services are underway. Once technical feasibility is given a green light, we will go ahead with the project,” said Jenu Devan, Gujarat Tourism Managing Director.

As per official statistics, the Statue of Unity witnesses a daily footfall average of 8,000 visitors. The highest one day record was on November 10, the weekend after Diwali, when 28,409 tourists visited the site. Till December 23,404,082 people have visited the site, generating an income of Rs 10.11 crore through ticket sales.

“We are thinking of promoting wellness tourism and yoga, eateries with tribal delicacies. We can have eco-tourism circuits like Zarwani waterfall. The idea is to offer visitors a variety of things on their platter” said Haider.

“The center of attraction will be the Statue of Unity, but on the sidelines there will be additional activities. We are thinking of promoting bicycle lanes as a healthy and refreshing activity. We are also planning a theme park near the complex,” added Haider.

Recently Union Tourism minister KJ Alphons has visited the statue and said the site is becoming one of the country’s top tourist spots. “In two years it can cross 5 million visitors and it is possible to get 10 million tourists at the statue in five years,” tweeted the minister.