On his 67th birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a wonderful gift to the nation. Commissioning of an important infrastructure project, the Sardar Sarovar Dam was inaugurated almost 56 years after its foundation stone was laid.
Located in the Narmada River, the Sardar Sarovar Dam is expected to benefit lakhs of people across the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Here are some of important facts about this prestigious project that everyone needs to know about –
1. The Sardar Sarovar Dam is the second largest dam project in the world, both in terms of its size and volume.
The dam comes a close second to the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.
2. The foundation stone of this dam was laid in 1961 by the country’s first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.
It was inaugurated 56 years later by the 14th prime minister of the country!
3. Regarded as Gujarat’s lifeline, this dam is expected to provide water to 9,000 villages!
Not just in Gujarat, but also in the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
4. The electricity generated from this dam will light up many households across the three states.
About 57% of the electricity generated will be used up by Maharashtra, 27% by Madhya Pradesh and the remaining by Gujarat.
5. The dam has two powerhouses – with a capacity to produce 4,141 crores units of electricity.
The canal head powerhouse and the river bed powerhouse have the capacity to produce 250 MW and 1,200 MW of electricity respectively.
6. Rajasthan too will benefit from the dam in terms of water supply and irrigation.
This means not just one but four states will receive benefits from this large dam project.
7. Sunday’s grand inauguration ceremony saw PM Modi overseeing the opening of all 30 gates of the dam.
Each of the gigantic gates weighs around 450 tonnes and takes about 1 hour to close!
8. The dam is 1.2-km-long and 163 meters deep and has capacity to irrigate over 18 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat itself.
This speaks a lot about the grandeur of the dam.
9. Right from its inception, construction of the dam got bogged down with many controversies.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan, led by social activist Medha Patkar, took the government to the Supreme Court, protesting against the environmental damages brought about by the construction.
10. The Supreme Court stayed construction of the dam in 1996 as a result of Medha Patkar’s petition.
The construction was resumed in 2000, only after getting a green signal from the apex court, though with conditions.
11. The dam construction took a toll on surrounding villages and fertile plains.
According to reports, the construction displaced hundreds of villagers from their residences, inundating thousand of hectares of fertile plains.