The social media went berserk on Saturday after tourists uploaded videos showing rainwater pouring inside an observation gallery within the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.
“We had come with great hope to see the world’s tallest statue. But we are feeling bad looking at the statue in the rain. It has not rained heavily, and already the main hall and viewing gallery of the statue is filled with water. It is unfortunate,” a tourist was quoted.
Videos of pools of water on the floor and water dripping off the roof of the Rs. 3,000-crore statue drew criticism from many, who termed the incident “unfortunate”.
The 182-meter Statue of Unity, a memorial to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is the tallest structure of its kind in the world and was inaugurated with much fanfare in 2018.
However, Narmada Collector IK Patel, who is also the chief administrator for the statue, said that it was “natural” for water to seep inside the viewing gallery.
“The viewing gallery is open with grills on the chest of the statue. The rear side of the gallery is covered by glass. The front view is open as per design. So it is natural that water will enter when it rains,” he said.
“There is a channel to dispose of rainwater. But when the wind speed is more, lots of water comes in and house-keeping personnel continuously drain it out. It is not leakage as is being claimed,” Patel added.
A tweet from the Statue of Unity’s official Twitter handle said the incident was “being promptly tackled by the maintenance team”.
However, the incident received sharp criticism from several quarters.
“One rain and it gets flooded, water leaking from the roof and front. Designers couldn’t even think of a design to prevent the rain from flooding the statue. What a Shame,” wrote prominent YouTuber Dhruv Rathee in a Facebook post and a Tweet.
A tweeter user who goes by the name TheAgeOfBananas and has the twitter handle as @iScrew even photoshopped the statue and put a raincoat over it.
It may be mentioned here that the Statue of Unity’s viewing gallery is situated at a height of around 500 feet and visitors can see “a spectacular view” of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and its surrounding areas from here.