Prime Minister Narendra Modi is celebrating his 67th birthday today. He also inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam almost 60 years after the foundation stone for the project was laid. It is the world's second biggest dam built on the river Narmada.
PM Modi confirmed it on Saturday through his Tweet: "Tomorrow Sardar Sarovar Dam will be dedicated to the nation. This project will benefit lakhs of farmers and help fulfil people's aspirations."
Tomorrow, Sardar Sarovar Dam will be dedicated to the nation. This project will benefit lakhs of farmers & help fulfil people’s aspirations.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2017
On the occasion of his birthday, PM Modi took blessings of his mother Heeraben Modi at her residence in Gandhinagar.
It looks like the day is packed with meetings and inaugurations for PM Modi.
Will travel to Gujarat this evening. Tomorrow I will join programmes in Kevadia, Dabhoi and Amreli. https://t.co/apon2JZvMi— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2017
After visiting the dam site, I will go to Sadhu Bet to take stock of the work on the ‘Statue of Unity’ project.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2017
I shall then travel to Dabhoi to take part in the closing ceremony of the Narmada Mahotsav & address a public meeting.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2017
PM had recently hosted his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe where the two launched India's first bullet train project in Ahmedabad. This is his second visit to home state within a span of a week.
The programmes around the inauguration of the Dam were organised in a such a way that it also turns into a political event, another feather in Modi government's cap. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had called the project as 'Gujarat's lifeline'.
The dam is 1.2-km-long, 163 metres deep and is expected to provide water for irrigation to over 18 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat. The water from Narmada will flow into over 9,000 villages through a canal network, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Limited (SSNL) officials said, explaining the paybacks of the project, reported NDTV.
The foundation stone was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), led by social activist Medha Patkar, has been protesting against the project, raising several environmental concerns of thousands of people losing their livelihood, homes etc. In 1996 the work on construction of the dam was halted following a stay by the Supreme Court. However, four years later the SC laid some conditions and gave permission to resume the work.