HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

L&T set to bag deal to build statue of unity

Sumant Banerji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 11, 2014
First Published: 23:50 IST(11/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:54 IST(11/7/2014)

Engineering major Larsen and Toubro seems all set to bag the order to make the ambitious 182-metre high statue of unity to be built in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat’s Narmada district.

Bids for the project were opened on Friday and sources told HT that L&T emerged as the lowest bidder with a cost of Rs. 2,980 crore. The statue would be the tallest in the world and almost double the size of the Statue of Liberty in the US.

“We have not bagged the project yet. All I know is that bids were opened today morning and ours was the lowest bid,” said AM Naik, group executive chairman, L&T, over phone from Istanbul. He did not comment on the exact size of the bid.

L&T’s bid would now undergo a series of technical evaluations and once it is cleared, the contract that also consists of maintenance of the statue for the next 15 years, would officially be granted to the company. The statue is expected to be ready in 42 months.

Once ready, the statue will eclipse the spring temple Buddhe statue in Henan province of China, which at 153 metres is currently the tallest statue in the world.

The government has set aside a corpus of `200 crore, announced in the budget, but its high cost has come under a lot of criticism from the opposition parties.

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