<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated to the nation the Sardar Sarovar Dam, almost 56 years after its foundation stone was laid.Modi, who turned 67 today, unveiled the plaque dedicating the dam to the nation, after performing a puja at the site in the Narmada district.The foundation of the dam, commonly referred to as the lifeline of Gujarat, was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. In June this year, the dam was raised to the maximum height of 138.68 metre.The increase in height — from 121.92 metre to 138.68 metre — led to the dam’s storage capacity going up nearly four times, to 4.73 million acre feet, greatly benefiting the state, besides neighbouring Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.According to a release from the Prime Minister’s Office, “The project has helped transport Narmada waters to the water-deficient areas of Saurashtra, North Gujarat and Kutch through an elaborate canal and pipeline network. Now, irrigation water from the dam is expected to benefit about 10 lakh farmers, while drinking water to be supplied to thousands of villages and towns is expected to benefit up to four crore people.” Hydro electricity up to a billion units is also expected to be generated annually, the release noted.
ALSO READ Narmada Dam to come to life todayThe delay in the completion of the dam was due to numerous reasons. Medha Patkar-led 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.(With Agency Inputs)

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Sardar Sarovar Dam: All you need to know about Narendra Modi’s ‘return gift’ to India