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17 September 2017, 01:10 | Terri Saunders
6 facts about Sardar Sarovar Dam which Modi will inaugurate on his 67th birthday tomorrow
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday tomorrow, as a gift, so that it (completion of dam) can be cashed in during the Assembly elections". 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.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had called the project as "Gujarat's lifeline" noting that the agriculture income and production of farmers in the state would be doubled because of Narmada Dam.
Inspite of the project having been conceptualised in as early as 1946 and the foundation stone laid in 1961, it got delayed due to a plethora of reasons.
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar is holding a "jal satyagrah" along with 40 other women at Barda village in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh alleging that state government has compromised the interests of its people by releasing water from Indira Sagar and Omkareshawar dams to ensure that the Sardar Sarovar dam has water till optimum level on September 17, when PM Narendra Modi will dedicate it to the nation.
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Meanwhile, the Union government will observer Modi's birthday as "Seva Diwas (day of service)" across the nation and carry out a range of activities including building twin pit toilets, "shramdaan" or voluntary work and sanitation drives.
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. The dam is almost 1.2-km-long and is 163 metres deep. The dam is also the biggest in terms of concrete used for construction.
According to the SSP official, the power generated from the dam would be shared among three states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The electricity produced by the dam will also benefit the states of MP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. In 1996, the construction work was suspended following a stay by the Supreme Court. He will also inaugurate new plants of Amar Dairy, and lay the foundation stone of a honey production centre. However, the apex court had set a condition that permission to increase the dam height would be given in parts after the project-affected-people (PAP) are resettled or compensated.
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