Over 18 lakh hectares of land in the state would be benefited with irrigation as Narmada water will flow to over 9,000 villages of Gujarat through a canal network, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Limited (SSNL) officials said, explaining the paybacks of the project.
Accusing the opposition Congress of delaying the Sardar Sarovar project, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said: "Before 2014, the UPA government did not give permission for seven years to install gates on the dam". Majority of the work related to Narmada project was completed during the years that our party was in power.
"Tomorrow Sardar Sarovar Dam will be dedicated to the nation".
Meanwhile, the Union government will observer Modi's birthday as "Seva Diwas (day of service)" across the nation and carry out a range of activities including building twin pit toilets, "shramdaan" or voluntary work and sanitation drives.
The Sardar Sarovar Project is also about pacifying the powerful Patidar community who have been demanding OBC status. Convenor of the National Alliance of People's Movement Arundhati Dhuru, whose organisation participated in the protests, alleged that the dam's gates were closed to ensure that Modi sees the reservoir filled with water. The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, facilitating a usable storage of 4.73 Million Acre feet (MAF), PMO said in a release today. It is the second biggest dam in the world after Grand Coulee Dam in the US. The official said the 1.2-kmlong 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.
The dam has already earned Rs 16,000 crore, which is more than double the cost of the mega structure. Gujarat is expected to get 16 percent share, Madhya Pradesh 27 percent and the remaining 57 percent will go to Maharashtra.
The protesters led by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar said the inhabitants of Narmada valley and their supporters would continue to challenge the unjustified submergence.
The project has been mired in several controversies ever since its foundation stone was laid.
The dam's original height was 121.92 metres.