Narmada Dam gates closed only to please PM: CPM leader

Pauline Gross
September 17, 2017

The foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was laid by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961. Huge hoardings and banners dot the streets with pictures of PM Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will spend his 67th birthday in his native Gujarat on Sunday and dedicate the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation, amid protests and allegations of little work done on it, and to address two rallies, landed here late Saturday evening.

After inaugurating the dam, PM Modi will travel to Sadhu Bet, where the Statue of Unity, an iconic statue and associated memorial complex for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is now under construction. The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, facilitating a usable storage of 4.73 Million Acre feet (MAF), PMO said in a release today.

The inauguration of the dam is expected to irrigate over 18 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat as the river water will flow into 9,000 villages through canal network. Majority of the work related to Narmada project was completed during the years that our party was in power.

The release said, "Sardar Sarovar Dam project has helped transport the waters of the River Narmada, to the water-deficient areas of Gujarat through an elaborate canal and pipeline network".

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The Prime Minister will end years of waiting when he dedicates the dam to the nation on 17th September. The gates of the country's highest dam were closed the following day.

57 per cent of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27 per cent and 16 per cent goes to Gujarat.

The power generated by the dam will be reportedly used by three states - Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The project has been mired in several controversies ever since its foundation stone was laid. Medha Patkar-led Narmada Bachao Andolan took the government to the Supreme Court over environmental and rehabilitation issues and obtained a stay in 1996. The construction work was suspended in 1996, after the National Basketball Association activists obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court, which highlighted environmental and rehabilitation issues.

The dam's original height was 121.92 metres.

Other reports by GizPress

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