What India Really Wants - 1
Hi frnds.. My blog is all about What India Really Wants. Sardar Patel Statue of Unity is Narendra Modi’s political vanity project. India will now have the tallest statue in the world, and it is the Sardar Patel Statue of Unity. It will add to the symbolic and rhetorical pride that Indians like to revel in these days. On one site we are facing so much rough-tuff situation from Hindu- Muslim and one site we have Statue of Unity.
If you are one of those people who think this will bring lots of pride and millions of foreign tourists to our country, let me ask you one question: Which was the tallest statue in the world till now?
If you said Statue of Liberty, you’re wrong. You are one of the many people in the world who have no idea where the tallest statue is. And, this really goes on to show how valuable an achievement the Sardar Patel Statue of Unity is. By the way, the tallest statue in the world was the Spring Temple Buddha in China. But don’t be embarrassed if you have never heard of it. It is never even listed in the top 10 tourist attractions in China. The Great Wall, the Terracotta Army and the Forbidden City are the top three tourist attractions in China. Guess what’s common between them? They are all historical and cultural wonders.
Across the world, historical monuments and sites are a far better tourist magnet than any modern construction. That is why the Eiffel Tower gets almost 7 million tourists every year compared to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which gets 2 million tourists despite being the tallest building in the world. The Sardar Vallavbhai Patel is reported to be 182 meters high, with the government spending almost 3600 crores on the monument. 3000 for statue and 600 for other stuff like advertisement and TV ads and list goes on.
The Sardar Patel statue is about political symbolism, and does not add to India’s rich culture and history. Our country is, in fact, overflowing with historical and cultural monuments but we hardly have the money to preserve them. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has over 3600+ monuments under its custody, including 36 world heritage sites. It has to reach out to the private sector to adopt the monuments. In fact, ASI spent more money to build its new headquarters than it did on conservation of the monuments in 2017.
Moreover, only 116 monuments have entry tickets, which can earn revenue. Upgrading services at these monuments, including at the Taj Mahal, would give tourism a better boost than spending Rs 3,000 crore on one political statue. This is where we are facing so much pressure because ultimately it will come from 7% tax payers.
Economically, this statue makes no sense either. The Taj Mahal is the most visited tourist attraction in India, which earns an annual revenue of Rs 25 crore from 8 million tourists. It would be optimistic to hope that the Sardar Patel Statue of Unity will get even a tenth of that number. But even if we assume that the Statue of Unity becomes as popular as the Taj Mahal, it would take more than 120 years to just break even. Add to that the maintenance cost, and it probably will never even become profitable. One can argue that visitor centers, museums and restaurants would help generate revenue but how much of that money will end up in government treasury?
Actually the entire Sardar Patel statue project costs approximately $430 million (Rs 3,000 crore). Of which, the cost of just the statue (182 metres) is nearly $200 million (Rs 1,347 crore). The Spring Temple Buddha statue had cost $18 million (128 meter). Even with inflation, it is unfathomable why it is 10 times higher here. We don't know why its too much higher cost than next tallest building. Whenever we start any construction, we have a fixed budget and deadline but we never reached to the deadline and budget will become double... why govt???. Not looking for this problem?? Any project Signature bride , sky walk, Lucknow Metro and the list goes on. We are a developing nation where 125cr people is living and we are still very behind in so many areas . I am not saying we are not working but we are slow. Like Shakti processor obviously we don’t know but this is the 1st ever made in India computer chip developed and build by IIT Madras but we don't know about it. This is the time we have to invest in our Science and Technology but what we have invested in our education system is so many engineering colleges without any outputs.
India producing every year so may engineers but according to NASSCOM only 10% is eligible for any job and rest is not up to mark but they all have engineering degree and this where we are facing tough situations. On moral side, we are behind and nobody is focusing on this area.
Here I am closing my first installment of WHAT INDIA REALLY WANTS.
Thanx.. will come with new blog soon.