Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat's Narmada district. The dam is the second biggest dam in the world after Grand Coulee Dam in the US.
The 1.2-km-long dam, which is 163 metres deep, will irrigate over 18 lakh hectares of land in the state. The water from Narmada will flow into over 9,000 villages through a canal network.
The inauguration event in Kevadia, Narmada District, was also attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, BJP president Amit Shah, and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, among others.
Here are six facts about the Sardar Sarovar Dam:
- The foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was laid by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961. It is the second biggest dam in the world after Grand Coulee Dam in the US.
- The dam has 30 gates and each gate weighs over 450 tonnes. It takes an hour to close them.
- The dam has already earned Rs 16,000 crore, which is more than double the cost of the mega structure. The dam has storage capacity of 4.73 million cubic metres.
- The construction of the dam was not exactly smooth. In 1985, the protests by Medha Patkar and other activists slowed down the construction of the dam.
- The current height of the dam is 138 metres that makes it the biggest structure ever made in the country.
- The Narmada Control Authority had ordered the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Project be shut on June 16. The gates of the country's highest dam were closed the following day.