PM Modi celebrates his birthday in Gujarat, inaugurates Sardar Sarovar dam today


Prime Minister Narendra Modi turns 67 today and he chose to celebrate his birthday by inaugurating the Sardar Sarovar dam built on the Narmada river.


Modi has visited Gujarat (which shall be undergoing assembly polls this December), for the second time in less than a week. Modi and Japanese PM, Shinzo Abe, had jointly visited Ahmedabad last week for the launch of Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project.

The BJP has woven its assembly election campaign around the Sardar Sarova Dam project, which it terms as, ‘lifeline of Gujarat’.

According to the Sardar Sarovar Project officials, the project will irrigate 2,46,000 hectares of land in the strategically important desert districts of Barmer and Jalore in Rajasthan and 37,500 hectares in the tribal hilly tract of Maharashtra.

A special allocation of 0.86 million cubic feet (MAF) of water has been made to provide drinking water to Gujarat’s 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages – which is 53% of the total 18,144 villages in the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landed in Dabhoi this morning, due to unfavorable weather in Kevadia and later travelled from Dabhoi to Kevadia by road to inaugurate the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The dam was innaugurated at around 10.30am by PM Narendra Modi. Several congratulatory messages poured in for the same.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan congratulated the people of Gujarat and its CM Vijay Rupani on the inauguration of Sardar Sarovar Dam.

President Ram Nath Kovind too greeted the people of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh on completion of Sardar Sarovar Dam, by mentioning that it fulfilled a dream.

On the other hand, activist Medha Patkar continued to lead Jal Satyagraha in the rising waters of Narmada at Chota Barda Ghat in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh.

Background to the dam:

The foundation of the inter-state project was laid in 1961 by then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. However, the project was constantly delayed mainly due to the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) led by activist Medha Patkar over rehabilitation of the affected families in Madhya Pradesh from the mid 1980s onwards.

The andolan consisted of adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against the number of large dams being built across the Narmada River, which flows through the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and all over India.

Several court actions, hunger strikes, rallies, and garnering support had come from notable film and art personalities including Aamir Khan and Arundhati Roy.