The 17th of September is going to be a historic day for India as Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the Sardar Sarovar Dam which is India’s biggest and the world’s second biggest dam. The occasion is made even more special by the fact that Prime Minister Modi celebrates his birthday on the same date.

The dam is located in Narmada district’s Kevadia. The Narmada Control Authority had ordered the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Project be shut on June 16. After the closure of the gates, the height of the dam was increased to 138 metres which was earlier 121.92 metres. The storage capacity was raised to 4.73 million cubic metres from the existing 1.27 million cubic metres.

The benefits that the dam will bring are immense. Eighteen lakh hectare of land in the state of Gujarat will benefit with irrigation as Narmada water will flow to over 9,000 villages through a network of canals.

The power that will be generated from the dam will be shared among three states – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Fifty-seven percent of the electricity produced will go to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh will get 27 percent and 16 percent goes to Gujarat.

Rajasthan will also reap benefits in irrigation as the dam will irrigate 2,46,000 hectares of land in the desert districts of Barmer and Jalore. A hilly tribal tract of 37,500 hectares in Maharashtra will also get irrigated. A special allocation of 0.86 million cubic feet (MAF) of water has been made to provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages, which is 53 percent of the total 18,144 villages of Gujarat.

We must be proud that India now has the world’s second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States. But the Sardar Sarovar Dam is the world’s biggest in terms of volume of concrete used in it.

The project saw many delays particularly due to the Narmada Bachao Andolan led by Medha Patkar. But the intentions of such people can’t be blindly trusted. NGOs and many other such activists get massive fundings from abroad to stop primarily nuclear-power and dam projects in India to halt India’s growth. These are the same people who then cry that farmers are committing suicides because of drought. The hypocrisy is stunning and goes to highlight that majority of these environmental activists going around are nothing but patsies of foreign powers meant to halt India’s development and they’ve been very successful in doing so too.


Vinayak Jain

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