Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 September 2017 inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the country’s biggest, on the Narmada river at an event coinciding with his 67th birthday. PM Modi, who turns 67 on 18 September 2017, began his day with a visit to his mother Hiraba at Raisan village near Ahmedabad. After taking her blessings, he headed to Kevadia in Narmada district, where he unveiled the plaque dedicating the Sardar Sarovar dam to the nation.
The foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was laid by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961. But owing to a host of controversies and repeated delays, it took 56 years to complete its construction. The government to the Supreme Court over environmental and rehabilitation issues, and obtained a stay in 1996. The court allowed resumption of work in October 2000.
The project has been described as one of the biggest human endeavours for water transport. Up to a billion units of hydropower are also expected to be generated annually. The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, which will allow maximum ‘usable storage’ of 4.73 million acre feet of water. The inaugural event also sees the culmination of the fortnight-long Narmada Mahotsav – launched by the Gujarat government to celebrate the completion of the project.PM Modi inaugurates country’s biggest dam, Sardar Sarovar Dam, Called ‘Gujarat’s Lifeline’