Hyderabad: As rains are lashing many parts of the country, a video is going viral on Facebook claiming that 'The Statue of Unity is flooded and water leakage'.
Many users shared the sky view of the statue shot from a helicopter, which shows the statue surrounded by water with a claim stating "Gujarat's 3,000 crore Statue of Unity gets flooded, officials claim it's a design feature while designing the world's tallest statue, it seems like officials forgot to account for the monsoons."
A few users shared the sky view of the statue along with the flooding scenes of the gallery inside the statue.
The same video has been shared on YouTube also.
The claim shared along with the video is MISLEADING.
When the keyframes from the video were searched using reverse image search, NewsMeter team found various results from 2019.
The sky view of the statue was first shared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself on September 17, 2019, with a statement "Reached Kevadia a short while ago. Have a look at the majestic 'Statue of Unity', India's tribute to the great Sardar Patel."
So this video seen in the viral messages is from 2019 and does not show flooding near the Statue of Unity. In August 2019, 26 gates out of the total 30 of Sardar Sarovar dam near the Statue of Unity were opened.
So, the water inflow seen here is the water coming out of the dam, that too in September 2019.
In the ending of the viral video, we can see rainwater rushing into the open gallery of Sardar Patel statue, this was shot in June 2019, when rainwater was seen pouring inside an observation gallery within the Statue of Unity.
The videos of puddles of water on the floor and water dripping off the roof in the gallery were seen on several media platforms during that time. These visuals drew criticism from many during that time.
The officials of the Statue of Unity replied to the allegations stating that the rainwater has been blown by high-velocity winds inside the viewing gallery. It's by design that it has to be kept open for a better view which tourists can enjoy. Water accumulation is being promptly tackled by the maintenance team.
According to the report published in NDTV, the officials explained that the viewing gallery was 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. And there is a channel to dispose of the 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.
Therefore, the claim that there is water leakage and flooding near the Statue of Unity is MISLEADING. The visuals from 2019 which are showing normal rainfall are used in this viral video.