The foundation stone of Sardar Sarovar dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada, described as Gujarat's lifeline by BJP leaders, at an event coinciding with his 67th birthday. The foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, it took 56 years to complete its construction. The 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. The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, which will allow maximum 'usable storage' of 4.73 million acre feet of water.
Here are the live updates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam inauguration:
PM Modi talks about the grandeur of ‘Statue of Unity’
The ardent fan of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel mentioned with great pride that the Statue of Unity will be a fitting tribute to the freedom fighter. "The Statue of Unity will be twice as high as US' Statue of Liberty," he said. The Prime Minister further said that people from all corners of the world will come and see the statue of unity and know the great contribution of Sardar Patel.
"World Bank tried to ensure India doesn't succeed in this project"
Prime Minister Modi said that World Bank had said it would not fund the project and had also alleged that it would ruin the environment. He added that the World Bank did all it could to ensure India cannot have such a mega project. "But India too had decided that World Bank or no World Bank, we will build the Mega Sardar Sarovar Dam with our blood and sweat. After the 2001 earthquake, when this project picked up pace and showed the world what India can truly do. The same World Bank had to eat humble pie, swallow its pride and was forced to give India's Sardar Sarovar Dam project the world's topmost environment-friendly project award," said the Prime Minister.
Sardar Sarovar Dam was Sardar Patel's dream, says PM Modi
The Prime Minister said the Sardar Sarovar Dam faced so many obstacles before its completion but the government was determined that the project will go on. "71 years ago, before independence, before most of you and I were born, Sardar Patel had seen the dream and vision of Sardar Sarovar Dam. If work had been done, then the project would have been complete in the 1970s itself. People would not have had water problems. The land would have been so much more fertile," he said.
"Dedicate Sardar Sarovar Dam to nation on Vishwakarma Jayanti"
Prime Minister Modi, who is currently addressing a public meeting in Dabhoi, dedicated the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation, on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti. "There is a Jan Sagar here in Dabhoi and this shows the respect people have for Maa Narmada. Today, on Vishwakarma Jayanti we dedicate to the nation the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Sardar Patel would be happy today. Imagine his vision that he envisioned this Dam to help farmers and citizens," the PM said.
PM Modi will head to Sadhu Bet, an island in the river Narmada where a 182-metre-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - called the 'Statue of Unity' - and a memorial complex dedicated to the country's first Home Minister are being constructed.
PM Modi inaugurates the dam on the Narmada river and offers his prayers.
The Prime Minister has reached the venue for the inauguration of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. He is accompanied by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
PM Modi is travelling to Kevadia by road for the inauguration.
Due to unfavorable weather in Kevadia, PM Narendra Modi's chopper has landed in Dabhoi, reports news agency ANI
Activist Medha Patkar is protesting against the project and demanding rehabilitation of the families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam construction. 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.
PM starts from Gandhinagar to Kevadia where he will inaugurate Sardar Sarovar Dam.
PM Narendra Modi seeks his mother Heeraben Modi's blessings in Gandhinagar on his birthday.
Sardar Sarovar project is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it
Sardar Sarovar Dam is also the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States. The 1.2-km-long dam, which is 163 metres deep has till date produced 4,141 crore units of electricity from its two power houses -- river bed powerhouse and canal head powerhouse -- with an installed capacity of 1,200 MW and 250 MW, respectively.