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On birthday, Modi to dedicate Narmada Dam to the nation

On birthday, Modi to dedicate Narmada Dam to the nation

"Prime Minister Modi will dedicate Sardar Sarovar project to the nation after opening the 30 gates installed on it".

Two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Sardar Sarovar Dam to mark his 67th birthday in Gujarat, the Medha Patkar-led Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists claimed the water level in the submergence area of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada rose across Barwani and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh.

His visit, which has added significance as the Assembly elections are due in Gujarat by year-end, is the second in less than a week after he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here and launched the Bullet train project.

The project, which has cost around Rs 60,000 crore, irrigates 1.8 million hectares of land in Gujarat and 2,46,000 hectares in Rajasthan. Grand Coulee Dam in the United States is the world's biggest dam. "Planning is being done for the massacre of thousands of families so as to celebrate Modi's birthday with great pomp and show", said Patkar.

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From the dam site, the Prime Minister 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. Convenor of the National Alliance of People's Movement Arundhati Dhuru, whose organisation participated in the protests, alleged that the dam's gates were closed to ensure that Modi sees the reservoir filled with water. Fifty-seven per cent of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27 per cent and 16 per cent is provided to Gujarat. Ahead of Modi's visit, the state will organise Narmada Mahotsav Yatra from 6-15 September. Though the foundation stone for the project was laid by Nehru in 1961, construction work on it could not commence till February 1980 due to litigation on issues relating to the environment and rehabilitation of displaced villagers.

The Narmada Control Authority had ordered the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Project be shut on June 16 after which the height of the dam was increased from 121.92 metres to 138 metres; storage capacity was raised to 4.73 million cubic metres (MCM) from the existing 1.27 million cubic metres.

"The celebrations for the completion of the dam are merely a poll plank".

"Though the BJP claims that the project is completed, over 43,000 km of canals are yet to be built", Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki alleged. Though over 500-km long main canal and six branch canals have been completed, work on minor, sub-minor and dis-tributaries is still on.


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