DABHOI (GUJARAT): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river, saying no other project in the world has faced so many hurdles as this “engineering miracle” which many people had “conspired to stop”.
He also said that the dam, conceptualised nearly six decades ago, would become a symbol of the country’s growing prowess and boost growth in the region.”No other project in the world has faced such hurdles as the Sardar Sarovar .. Over the last six decades, the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada faced many hurdles but India overcame them with her “blood and sweat” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. The inauguration of the world’s second largest dam coincides with the PM’s 67th birthday.
“I have knowledge (‘kacha chittha’) of everyone who tried to stall this project .. “A massive misinformation campaign was launched against the project. The World Bank which had earlier agreed to fund the project, refused to give loan for it raising environmental concerns. But, with or without the World Bank, we completed the massive project on our own,” Modi said. “When the World Bank refused money for Sardar Sarovar Dam, temples of Gujarat had donated for the project,” he said.
Thanking the tribal families who were displaced by the project, Modi said .. Nearly 56 years after its foundation was laid by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961, the dam became a reality today after Modi unveiled a plaque and performed a puja at the site in Kevadia in Narmada district.
With the state gearing up for polls later this year, the ruling BJP has turned the inauguration of the dam into a massive political event. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has dubbed the project as “Gujarat’s lifeline”, saying that the agriculture income and production of farmers in the state more than doubled because of it.
The project has been mired in controversies ever since its 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. In 1996, construction on the dam was suspended following a stay by the Supreme Court which allowed work to resume, four years later, but with conditions.