PM Modi to mark birthday by inaugurating world's second largest dam

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The Prime Minister will attend the closing ceremony of the Narmada Mahotsav and address the gathering at Dabhoi. Huge hoardings and banners dot the streets with pictures of PM Modi.

Fifty-six years after its foundation was laid by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Sardar Sarovar Dam was finally completed on June 17 with the dam height raised to 138.68 metres.

The Sardar Sarovar project is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it.

Over 18 lakh hectares of land in the state would be benefited with irrigation as Narmada water will flow to over 9,000 villages of Gujarat through a canal network, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Limited (SSNL) officials said, explaining the paybacks of the project.

An official release said that the increase in the dam height will facilitate a usable storage of 4.73 Million Acre Feet (MAF) and will greatly benefit the participating states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Earlier this week PM Modi hosted Shinzo Abe at Ahmedabad and launched the Bullet train project.

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While a 182-metre Statue of Unity is a project conceived by Modi, he has also been consistently in favour of increasing the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Majority of the work related to Narmada project was completed during the years that our party was in power. The gates of the country's highest dam were closed the following day.

"The dam has earned over Rs 16,000 crore - more than double the cost of its construction", he said.

At several places on its route, the yatra faced hostile crowds protesting against the claims of the state government of providing Narmada dam waters across the parched regions of Gujarat. Fifty-seven per cent of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27 per cent and 16 per cent is provided to Gujarat. Led by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, villagers affected by the project staged a "Jal Satyagaraha" protest at Chota Barda village in Dhar district, PTI reported. In 1996, the construction work was suspended following a stay by the Supreme Court.

He will lay the foundation stone for the National Tribal Freedom Fighters' Museum during the event.

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