NEW DELHI (INDIA): The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi today dedicated the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation.nnThe occasion was marked by prayers and chanting of hymns at the Dam at Kevadia. The Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.nnLater, the Prime Minister visited the construction site of the Statue of Unity, an iconic structure dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, at Sadhu Bet, a short distance from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. He was given an overview of the progress of work at the site.nnAt a large public meeting in Dabhoi, the Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the National Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum. The occasion also marked the closing ceremony of the Narmada Mahotsav, which generated awareness about the River Narmada, in various districts of Gujarat.nnSpeaking on the occasion, he said the huge gathering shows the respect that people have for Maa Narmada. On the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti, he said that he salutes all those who are working to build the nation. Let us leave no stone unturned to build a New India by 2022, the Prime Minister exhorted.nnThe Prime Minister recalled Sardar Patel’s vision of the dam. He said that both Sardar Patel and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar gave a lot of emphasis to irrigation and waterways.nnThe Prime Minister said lack of water resources has been a major impediment to development. He recalled visiting the border areas in the past, when BSF jawans did not have enough water. We brought Narmada waters to the border areas for the jawans, he said.nnThe saints and seers of Gujarat have played a very big role in the making of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, he said. The waters of the River Narmada will help citizens and transform lives, he added.nnThe Prime Minister said that in the western part of the country, there is water shortage, and in the eastern part, there is power and gas shortage. He said the Government is working to overcome these shortages, so that India scales new heights of development.nnThe Prime Minister said the Statue of Unity would be a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel, and would draw tourists from all over. He recalled freedom fighters from tribal communities, who fought against colonialism.nnIrrigationnnThe Sardar Sarovar Project will provide irrigation facilities to 18.45 lac ha. of land, covering 3112 villages of 73 talukas in 15 districts of Gujarat. It will also irrigate 2,46,000 ha. of land in the strategic desert districts of Barmer and Jallore in Rajasthan and 37,500 ha. in the tribal hilly tract of Maharashtra through lift. About 75% of the command area in Gujarat is drought prone while entire command in Rajasthan is drought prone. Assured water supply will soon make this area drought proof.nnDrinking waternnA special allocation of 0.86 MAF of water has been made to provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9633 villages (53% of total 18144 villages of Gujarat) within and out-side command in Gujarat for present population of 28 million and prospective population of over 40 million by the year 2021. All the villages and urban centres of arid region of Saurashtra and Kachchh and all “no source” villages and the villages affected by salinity and fluoride in North Gujarat will be benefited. Water supply requirement of several industries will also be met from the project giving a boost to all-round production.nnPowernnThere are two power houses viz. River Bed Power House and Canal Head Power House with an installed capacity of 1200 MW and 250 MW respectively. The power would be shared by three states – Madhya Pradesh – 57%, Maharashtra – 27% and Gujarat 16%. This will provide a useful peaking power to western grid of the country which has very limited hydel power production at present. A series of micro hydel power stations are also planned on the branch canals where convenient falls are available.nnFlood protectionnnIt will also provide flood protection to riverine reaches measuring 30,000 ha. covering 210 villages and Bharuch city and a population of 4.0 lac in Gujarat.nnWild life nnWild life sanctuaries viz. “Shoolpaneshewar wild life sanctuary” on left Bank, Wild Ass Sanctuary in little Rann of Kachchh, Black Buck National Park at Velavadar, Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in Kachchh, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary and Alia Bet at the mouth of River will be benefited.nnSSP would generate electricity. Now, annual additional agricultural production would be Rs. 1600 crores, power generation and water supply Rs. 175 crores, aggregating about Rs. 2175 crores every year equivalent to about Rs. 6.0 crores a day.nnBenefits to small and marginal Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe farmers would be as under :n
|Marginal farmers (< 1 ha.)||28.0 %|
|Small farmers (1 to 2 ha.)||24.4%|
nAGAINST ONE TRIBAL DISPLACED, 7 TRIBALS WOULD GET BENEFITSnnIn addition, there will be benefits of fisheries development, recreational facilities, water supply for industries, agro industrial development, protection of conserved forest from grazers and secondary benefits viz employment generation, increase in vegetal cover in 3.4 M. Ham. of GCA, gains due to compensatory forest, tree plantation 100 times and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) fixation to large extent by 70 times.