PM Dedicates Sardar Sarovar Dam to The Nation

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The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi dedicated the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation.

The occasion was marked by prayers and chanting of hymns at the Dam at Kevadia. The Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

Later, the PM visited the construction site of the Statue of Unity, an iconic structure dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, at Sadhu Bet, a short distance from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. He was given an overview of the progress of work at the site.

At a large public meeting in Dabhoi, the Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the National Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum. The occasion also marked the closing ceremony of the Narmada Mahotsav, which generated awareness about the River Narmada, in various districts of Gujarat.

The Sardar Sarovar Dam is a gravity dam on the Narmada river near Navagam, Gujarat in India. Four Indian states, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra and Rajasthan, receive water and electricity supplied from the dam.

The foundation stone of the project was laid out by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961. The project took form in 1979 as part of a development scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity.

One of the 30 dams planned on river Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) is the largest structure to be built. It is a part of the Narmada Valley Project, a large hydraulic engineering project involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi-purpose dams on the Narmada River.

Following a number of controversial cases before the Supreme Court of India (1999, 2000, 2003), by 2014 the Narmada Control Authority had approved a series of changes in the final height – and the associated displacement caused by the increased reservoir, from the original 80 m (260 ft) to a final 163 m (535 ft) from foundation.

The project will irrigate more than 18,000 km2 (6,900 sq mi), most of it in drought prone areas of Kutch and Saurashtra.

The dam’s main power plant houses six 200 MW Francis pump-turbines to generate electricity and include a pumped-storage capability. Additionally, a power plant on the intake for the main canal contains five 50 MW Kaplan turbine-generators.

The total installed capacity of the power facilities is 1,450 MW.

To the south west of Malwa plateau, the dissected hill tracts culminate in the Mathwar hills, located in Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Below these hills Narmada river flows through a long, terrific gorge. This gorge extends into Gujarat where the river is tapped by the Sardar Sarovar dam.

The dam will irrigate 17,920 km2 (6,920 sq mi) of land spread over 12 districts, 62 talukas, and 3,393 villages (75% of which is drought-prone areas) in Gujarat and 730 km2 (280 sq mi) in the arid areas of Barmer and Jalore districts of Rajasthan.

The dam will also provide flood protection to riverine reaches measuring 30,000 ha (74,000 acres) covering 210 villages and Bharuch city and a population of 400,000 in Gujarat. Saurastra Narmada Avataran Irrigation is a major program to help irrigate a lot of regions using the canal’s water.

In 2011, the government of Gujarat announced plans to generate solar power by placing solar panels over the canal, making it beneficial for the surrounding villages to get power and also help to reduce the evaporation of water. The first phase consists of placing panels along a 25 km length of canal, with capacity for up to 25 MW of power.

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