A monolithic block of granite weighing 280 metric tonne from which just-unveiled grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has been carved out, was sourced from a quarry in Telangana and a stretch of “makeshift road” had to be built to transport the stone to a national highway for sending it to Delhi.
A 100-ft-long truck with 140 wheels was specially designed for this giant stone to be ferried from Khammam in Telangana to National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in New Delhi, covering a distance of 1,665 km.
“Netaji has been brought to life from a single block of a monolithic stone, which befits his stature as a towering leader. And, we feel proud that we have supplied it for this ambitious project of the government,” Rajat Mehta, Director, Granite Studio India told PTI.
A team of sculptors spent 26,000 man-hours of “intense artistic endeavour” to carve the grand statue of Bose.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the newly-christened Kartavya Path – a stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate and also unveiled the 28-ft statue which has been installed in the historic canopy facing the India Gate.
Entire sculpture work was done at the NGMA. Raw stone block was brought from Khammam in Telangana, a senior official of the Culture Ministry said.
The statue is completely “hand sculpted using traditional techniques and modern tools”. The team of sculptors was led by Arun Yogiraj.
Mehta said the stone was sourced from a quarry in Khammam in “record time”, but sending it to Delhi entailed “multiple challenges”.
The director of New Delhi-based Granite Studio India also showed to PTI a sample of the “telephone black granite”.
The granite monolith was chiselled to produce a statue weighing 65 MT, but bring it to Delhi was not an easy task.
“The stretch from the quarry to the National Highway was ‘kuccha’ and a makeshift road had to be built in a short period of time, to allow the stone to be moved to the highway. And, 42 tyres go burst on the way due to which 72 hours were lost. The long truck used for transportation had 14 axles, and it crossed through five states to reach Delhi,” Mehta said.
From NH, the road travelled to Nagpur and passing through other parts of Maharashtra it moved to Madhya Pradesh, onwards to Uttar Pradesh and then Faridabad, Haryana, and then reached Delhi at the NGMA, he added.
“I could hardly sleep for three nights,” he exclaimed, adding, the truck started on May 22 night and reached the national capital on June 2″.
The prime minister had on January 21 assured that a grand statue of Netaji made of granite will be installed at India Gate as a symbol of the nation’s “indebtedness” to him.
His arrival at the canopy for the unveiling of the statue was heralded with traditional Manipuri Shankh Vadayam and Kerala’s traditional Panch Vadayam and Chanda.
The unveiling of the statue of Netaji was accompanied to the tune of Kadam Kadam Badhayeja, the traditional INA song.