PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam: Ten things to know about the world's second biggest dam

First Published 17, Sep 2017, 11:01 AM IST
Narendra Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam Ten things to know
Highlights
  • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam today, September 17, at Kevadia in Gujarat
  • The foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Sardar Sarovar Dam is also the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam today, September 17, at Kevadia in Gujarat. The PM inaugurates the dam on his 67th birthday.

Called 'Gujarat's Lifeline', the foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, it took 56 years to complete its construction. 

Sardar Sarovar Dam is also the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.

Here are ten things you should know about the iconic dam:

  1. The Sardar Sarovar project is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it. 
  2. The Sardar Sarovar Dam has two power houses - river bed power house and canal head powerhouse. The two powerhouses have the installed capacity of 1,200 MW and 250 MW respectively.
  3. The dam's height was recently raised to 138.68 metres. That will allow a maximum usable storage of 4.73 million acre-feet of water.
  4. 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.
  5. Officials say the power generated from the dam would be shared among three states -- Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. About 57 percent of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27 per cent and Gujarat gets 16 per cent.
  6. According to official figures, the dam has earned over Rs 16,000 crore. This means that the dam has already earned more than double the cost of its construction.
  7. Although the foundation stone of the dam was laid by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961, the construction on the project began 26 years later in 1987, when his grandson Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister.
  8. Sardar Sarovar Dam is also the most controversial development project of the nation. Activists have been long demanding that the filling of the reservoir with water be stopped immediately. They want the dam gates to be open to reduce the water level.
  9. The Narmada Bachao Andolan led by activist Medha Patkar has claimed that after raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, about 40,000 families in 192 villages in Madhya Pradesh will be displaced. The government has put the number of displaced families at 18,386 in Madhya Pradesh, reported NDTV.
  10. Narmada Bachao Andolan took the government to the Supreme Court over environmental and rehabilitation issues, and obtained a stay in 1996. The court allowed resumption of work in October 2000.

The dam has run into further controversy with Gujarat’s Congress claiming that canals of 43,000 km length were yet to be built despite the BJP ruling the state for 22 years.

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