Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam, dubbed world’s second largest, in Gujarat’s Narmada district, 56 years after his predecessor Jawaharlal Nehru had laid its foundation stone.
Here are 10 facts about the Sarovar dam you must know:
1. The Dam, which has been built on the Narmada river, was first conceived in 1946 as part of the Narmada Valley Development Plan.
2. Then PM Jawaharlal Nehru called it the new “Temple of resurgent India” and laid its foundation stone on April 5, 1961.
3. However, it got the environmental clearance 26 years later in April 1987 when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister.
4. Environmentalists vehemently opposed the project, and in 1988, scores of scientists and social workers petitioned Gandhi to reconsider the decision.
5. The World Bank stopped funding the project in 1994 because of strong protests led by Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Movement).
6. The Supreme Court suspended its construction in 1996 on the plea of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
7. The court, however, vacated its order in 2000 and set condition on the Dam height after the government promised to work on the concerns raised.
8. In 2003, the Court gain stayed the construction over rehabilitation and compensation issues.
9. The Dam was originally commissioned in 2006 when Modi was Gujarat chief minister and Congress-led UPA govt ruled the Centre but teething issues persisted.
10. But after many obstacles, the Narmada Control Authority gave its final clearance in June 2014 when the height was raised to 138.68 metres.