Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada - world's second biggest concrete gravity dam after America's Grand Coulee - has been inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi. What makes the inauguration even more significant is the fact that it comes 56 years after its foundation stone was laid by then PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961! 1.2-km-long dam is also said to be the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it. We take a look at some salient facts about the Sardar Sarovar dam project and how it is expected to benefit the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra:
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The Sardar Sarovar Dam is 163-metres deep and it has produced 4,141 crore units of electricity till date, officials have told IANS.
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The dam has two power houses - canal head powerhouse and river bed powerhouse — with an installed capacity of 250 MW and 1,200 MW respectively.
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The power that will be generated from the Sardar Sarovar dam will be shared by three states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
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The height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres. According to officials, the increase in height is meant to facilitate a usable storage of 4.73 million acre feet and will greatly benefit the participating states.
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A billion units of hydro power are expected to be generated annually from the Sardar Sarovar Dam project.
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The Sardar Sarovar Dam project is said to have enabled bringing waters of the Narmada river to water-deficient areas of Gujarat. This has been done through a huge canal and pipeline network.
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"Irrigation from the project is expected to benefit about 10 lakh farmers and drinking water to be supplied to various villages and towns is likely to benefit up to 4 crore people," the government claims.
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PM Modi tweeted that the Sardar Sarovar Dam will "benefbringings of farmers and help fulfill people's aspirations".
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According to the government, Sardar Sarovar project will provide irrigation facilities to 18.45 lakh ha. of land. This covers 3112 villages in 15 districts of Gujarat.
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"It will also irrigate 2,46,000 ha. of land in the desert districts of Barmer and Jallore in Rajasthan and 37,500 ha. in the tribal hilly tract of Maharashtra through lift," the says the government.
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The Sardar Sarovar Dam is expected to provide flood protection to riverine reaches measuring 30,000 ha. This will cover as many as 210 villages and Bharuch city, says the government.
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Sardar Sarovar dam project, project officials claim, has already earned over Rs 16,000 crore - "more than double the cost of its construction".
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While the construction of the dam faced several challenges, the widely known one is the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). This movement, led by social activist Medha Patkar, flagged both environment and rehabilitation issues related to the project.