Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated interstate multi-purpose Sardar Sarovar Dam (Narmada dam project) at Kevadia, Gujarat to the nation on occasion of his 67th birthday.
Sardar Sarovar Dam is the highest dam ever built in India and second biggest concrete gravity dam in world in terms of volume after Grand Coulee Dam in US.
The Sardar Sarovar Dam project was vision of India’s first deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to arrest excess flow of water from Narmada River into Arabian Sea. The foundation stone of project was laid out by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961.
The dam has length of 1.2 kms and depth of 163 metres. Its height was recently raised to 138.68 metres, enabling usable water storage of 4.73 million acre feet (MAF). Four Indian states, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra and Rajasthan will receive water and electricity supplied from the dam.
It will irrigate more than 22,000 hectares of land, mostly from drought prone areas of Kutch and Saurashtra. Moreover it will provide drinking water to four crore people from Gujarat. About 57% of electricity produced from dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27% and Gujarat gets 16%.
The project was executed by Gujarat government’s Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNL). It had faced many hurdles including inter-state disputes, land acquisition and environmental problems and rehabilitation and resettlement of those displaced by the project. World Bank also had refused to fund it on grounds of environmental damage