October 14, 2020 1:57:59 am
The Statue of Unity (SoU), the world’s tallest statue dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is set to reopen on October 17, eight months after it was shut owing to the Covid-19 lockdown in March. A release from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL), on Tuesday, stated that the statue will reopen on the first day of Navratri amid strict precautionary measures.
Against a footfall of over 15,000 per day on regular days, only 2,500 tourists will now be allowed into the complex per day in view of Covid-19 protocols. Of these, only 500 will be allowed to visit the viewer’s gallery located at a height of 153 metres.
The release stated, “Tickets will be provided in two-hour slots through the website. Entry will be allowed to tourists only in the slot for which the tickets have been purchased. No tickets will be issued physically from any ticket window.”
The release added that wearing masks, using sanitisers and undergoing thermal scanning will be mandatory for tourists who will also have to practise discipline. “Sitting arrangements have also been made to maintain social distancing in the hop-on, hop-off buses,” the release further said.
Officials of the SoU administration said that the lockdown period was utilised to construct more stops for the hop-on and hop-off bus service so as to prevent crowding at a single bus stand. In August this year, as part of the preparation for SoU’s reopening, CISF personnel were deployed at the complex for smooth management of the crowd.
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