Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Sardar Sarovar Dam, one of India’s biggest, in Narmada district’s Kevadiya, on September 17, which also happens to be his birthday.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani made the announcement.
“The Prime Minister will dedicate the Sardar Sarovar project to the nation after opening the 30 gates installed in it, which were closed on the directions of the Narmada Control Authority on June 17 this year,” Rupani said.
“It is the best gift for him on his birthday, as he has worked tirelessly for the dam to bring water in the parched areas of the state,” the Chief Minister said.
The Narmada Control Authority had ordered the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Project be shut on June 16. The gates of the country`s highest dam were closed the following day.
After the closure of the gates, 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.
Earlier, the height of the dam was 121.92 metres.
56 years ago, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Narmada district’s Kevadiya laid the foundation stone for the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
He also said that with the inauguration of the project, over 18 lakh hectares of land in the state would be benefitted with irrigation as Narmada water will flow to over 9,000 villages of Gujarat through a canal network.
Each gate weighs over 450 tonnes and it takes one hour to close them, the official said.
Explaining the characteristics of the Sardar Sarovar project, the official said that it is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it.
“It is the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States,” he said.
The official said the 1.2-km-long dam which is 163 metres deep has till date produced 4,141 crore units of electricity from its two power houses — river bed powerhouse and canal head powerhouse — with an installed capacity of 1,200 MW and 250 MW, respectively.
“The dam has earned over Rs 16,000 crore — more than double the cost of its construction,” he said.
According to the SSP official, the power generated from the dam would be shared among three states — Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
57 per cent of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27 per cent and 16 per cent goes to Gujarat.