PM Modi to Dedicate Sardar Sarovar Dam to Nation on His Birthday

People protest against displacement by the Sardar Sarovar Dam project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Sunday. It is the highest dam ever built in India. While the BJP government has embarked on a Narmada Yatra since September 6 to celebrate the Centre's nod to close the dam's gates, the Congress blamed the successive BJP government for delaying the project completion.Addressing media-persons, senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil said that environmental approval for Narmada project was received in June 1987, and BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 22 out of 30 years."Congress was in power in the state only for seven years, and BJP is ruling since 1995". After closure of the gates the following day the height of the dam was increased to 138 metres, with storage capacity raised to 4.73 million cubic metres (MCM) from the existing 1.27 million cubic metres.

According to the SSP official, the power generated from the dam would be shared among three states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The Sardar Sarovar Project is also about pacifying the powerful Patidar community who have been demanding OBC status. Gujarat is expected to get 16 percent share, Madhya Pradesh 27 percent and the remaining 57 percent will go to Maharashtra. The protesters alleged that on Wednesday night in Nisarpur village of Barwani, the shivling of a Shiva temple at the banks Narmada tributary Uri-Baghni, was uprooted by force despite the opposition of the people of Narmada valley. He will also lay the foundation stone for National Tribal Freedom Fighters' Museum during the event.

Talking about her protest, Medha Patkar said, "The two dams have not yet reached the optimum levels, in fact, there is no rain upstream, the Bargi and Tawa dams too are much below their optimum levels, but water is being released so that there is water for the inauguration ceremony".

It was only after the Supreme Court gave an order in October 2000 in favour of construction of the dam that work had resumed.

The dam's original height was 121.92 metres.

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.

Parmeshwaran Iyer, Drinking water and sanitation secretary, had earlier said the "Seva Diwas" campaign would see large-scale mobilisation of people from all walks of life, including the PM, Union ministers, chief ministers and parliamentarians, to undertake "shramdaan" for cleanliness and construction of toilets and to make their surroundings free from open defecation.

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