At 221 metre, the statue would be the world’s tallest and 38 metres higher than the current tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat, which is dedicated to freedom fighter and India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2018.
Ayodhya district magistrate (DM) Anuj Jha has already issued a notification for acquisition of more than 28 hectares of land on the banks of river Saryu, where the statue is proposed to be built. According to the notification, affected persons and organisations have been given time till July 11 to raise objections, if any, with the DM office.
Land belonging to more than 200 people would be acquired for the mega project, which is now among the flagships projects of the Adityanath government to boost tourism in the region and also to reiterate its commitment towards the cause of Hindutva and the temple town of Ayodhya.
“The process of land acquisition for the project has started. We plan to begin the construction of the proposed statue within the next 12 months,” UP tourism principal secretary Awanish Awasthi told Business Standard.
However, the acquisition won't be easy as there are several temples and ashrams on the land. The seers and saints associated with these temples have voiced their opposition over any prospective step to evict them and raze these ‘heritage’ structures. They are also likely to call upon CM Adityanath over the issue.
Both the state tourism department and the Ayodhya district administration are tightlipped on the contentious issue.
In November 2018, the CM had selected the final design for the proposed bronze statue. While the 151 metre statue would stand atop a 50 metre pedestal, a decorated umbrella hood of 20 metres would cover the statue. The proposed statue depicts Lord Ram holding a metal bow and arrow in both the arms.
The pedestal would encompass a museum that will showcase the history of Ayodhya and its link to the mythical pantheons, especially Lord Ram, as mentioned in Hindu religious text of Ramayan. The acquisition of land is likely to cost nearly Rs 200 crore.
In October 2017, the state government had first announced its plans to build a 100 metre Ram statue in Ayodhya and sought public and private support, including corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds, for the project. Later, the height of the proposed statue was increased to a total of 221 metres, thus making it the world’s tallest structure.