PM Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Birthday To Be Celebrate As 'Seva Diwas' Nationwide

Modi dedicated the day to the nation the Dam, whose foundation was laid almost six decades ago by former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.

The Prime Minister who arrived in the state on Saturday night, took the blessings of his mother Heeraba Modi near state capital Gandhinagar and went straight to the Narmada dam site in Kevadia.

Almost 56 years after its foundation was laid, the Sardar Sarovar Dam, which was mired in controversies and faced stiff opposition from affected villagers, became a reality on Sunday after Modi unveiled the plaque to launch it.

Officials say that the amount of power generated can light up three states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

"The World Bank said it would not fund the project", the Prime Minister said in his address at a public meeting in Dabhoi, an hour's drive from Ahmedabad, after the dam's inauguration.

Speaking about India's highest dam, PM Modi said that when the world bank denied to help and giving for the construction of the dam, at that there were temples of Gujarat which gave the money.

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The Sardar Sarovar Dam is the biggest of its kind in terms of volume of concrete used in it. If Sardar Saab had lived longer, the Narmada dam would have been ready in the 1970s... "With 1.25 billion people with me, I can't dream small", he said.

The Prime Minister said, the western part of India lacks adequate water supply and the eastern part is facing the shortage of electricity & gas supply. As per the Gujarat Government's claims, drinking water would be supplied to 8,221 villages, 159 towns and eight cities across the State through the dam, while 17.92 lakh hectares of land across 3,125 villages would be irrigated.

Meanwhile government's decision to go ahead with the dam project was opposed by large number of affected villagers.

Activist Medha Patkar, leader of National Basketball Association, has been protesting against the project and has been seeking rehabilitation for the displaced families.

The 1,312-kilometre-long river drains into the Arabian Sea after passing through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. However, it took 56 years to complete its construction. "When the water of Narmada Dam reached Rajasthan, Vasundharaji (Raje), Jaswant Singhji and other leaders told me that the significance of this water coming from Gujarat was great".

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