The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will dedicate the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation, at Kevadia in Gujarat on September 17, 2017.The inaugural event, held on the occasion of PM Modi’s 67th birthday on Sunday, will also see the culmination of the fortnight-long Narmada Mahotsav – launched by the Gujarat government to celebrate the completion of the work.
The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, facilitating a usable storage of 4.73 Million Acre feet (MAF). This will greatly benefit the participating States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The project has helped transport the waters of the River Narmada, to the water-deficient areas of Gujarat through an elaborate canal and pipeline network. Irrigation from the project is expected to benefit about 10 lakh farmers, and drinking water to be supplied to various villages and towns, is likely to benefit upto 4 crore people. The project has been described as one of largest ever human endeavours for water transport. Upto a billion units of hydropower are also expected to be generated annually.
From the dam site, the Prime Minister will travel to Sadhu Bet, where the Statue of Unity, an iconic statue and associated memorial complex for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is currently under construction. The Prime Minister will be given an overview of the progress of work on this project. The project comprises a 182 metre tall statue, an exhibition hall, a memorial garden, and a Visitor Centre.
The Narmada Control Authority had ordered the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Project be shut on June 16 after which the height of the dam was increased from 121.92 metres to 138 metres; storage capacity was raised to 4.73 million cubic metres (MCM) from the existing 1.27 million cubic metres.
The foundation stone for the project was laid in 1961 and the construction began in 1987.
Over 18 lakh hectares of land in the state would be benefited with irrigation as Narmada water will flow to over 9,000 villages of Gujarat through a canal network, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Limited (SSNL) officials said, explaining the paybacks of the project.