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PM Modi to dedicate Narmada Dam to nation today

The foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra will today dedicate to the nation the Sardar on river Narmada, described as Gujarat's lifeline by BJP leaders, at an event coinciding with his 67th birthday.

The foundation stone of the was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first prime minister However, it took 56 years to complete its construction.

will arrive here tonight, and seek blessings of his mother Hiraba tomorrow morning.

His visit, which has added significance as the Assembly elections are due in by year-end, is the second in less than a week after he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here and launched the Bullet train project.

"Tomorrow Sardar will be dedicated to the nation. This project will benefit lakhs of farmers and help fulfil people's aspirations," tweeted today.

Earlier, Modi had stressed that the project will start a new chapter of prosperity for

Chief Minister had called the project as "Gujarat's lifeline" noting that the income and production of farmers in the state more than doubled because of it.

The event will take place at Kevadia in Narmada district.

The delay in the completion of the dam was due to numerous reasons. Medha Patkar-led took the government to the over environmental and 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.

"The Congress committed the sin of obstructing the project at every step. Within 20 days of becoming prime minister, Modi gave final approval to raise the height of the dam," BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said here.

After the inauguration at the dam site at Kevadia, Modi will go to Sadhu Bet, an island in the Narmada river where a 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, called 'Statue of Unity', and a memorial complex dedicated to the country's first home minister are coming up.

Thereafter, the PM will attend the closing ceremony of 'Narmada Mahotsav', and address a gathering at Dabhoi.

He will also lay the foundation stone for National Tribal Freedom Fighters' Museum during the event. Modi will then visit Amreli in Saurashtra where he will attend a host of programmes and address a public gathering.

"Looking forward to addressing a gathering of cooperatives, Sahakar Samemelan in Amreli tomorrow," the PM tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat Congress has claimed that the project is not complete and canals of 43,000 km length were yet to be built despite the BJP ruling the state for 22 years.

First Published: Sun, September 17 2017. 00:00 IST