Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sardar Sarovar Dam of Gujarat completed

Sardar Sarovar Dam of Gujarat completed

Now Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam can claim position as the biggest dam of the State technically. Ukai Dam (1972) is the biggest dam of Gujarat with a reservoir of 7414 MCM (active 6730 MCM) water storage capacity. Sardar Sarovar reservoir stores 5214 MCM water at present. The height of the Sardar Sarovar dam is 121.92 metre, and with the closure of the 30 gates (60x55 feet), it has reached to FRL (full reservoir level) of 138 metre with a total water storage capacity of 9500 MCM (active 5800 MCM). Therefore, in terms of total storage capacity, Sardar Sarovar Dam is the biggest dam of the State, and in terms of active storage, Ukai will continue with No.1 position in the State.

I still remember the day, 7 December 1979, I was in the last year of BCom and had put just 4 months service in Sachivalaya, the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) (Justice V Ramswami) gave it's final award after 10 years. Late Charan Singh was the PM of India. The pioneer of speeding up the declaration of the award late Morarji Desai had resigned as PM on 28 July 1979. The present PM Shri Narendra Modi had constructed the most important part of the dam height of final 31.92 metres (from 90 to 121.92) and the canal network as the CM of Gujarat and allowed the installation of the gates in June 2014, on the 17th day of his swearing in as PM. The SSNNL has completed the tasks in just 3 years and with the permission of the SC, the gates are closed yesterday, declaring the project completed officially after 56 years of it's start with the foundation stone.

The dam height was raised upto 90 mtr in 2000. But March 2004 (PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee) was a turning point for the State when NCA allowed the height of 110 mtr. That has bring Narmada Water into the canals, opened the way for the GWSSB to build water distribution network of Narmada Water Supply Grid of 120000 kms, the major step towards drinking water security of the State, covering approximately 7900 villages and 116 towns. Dhanki, Hadala, Navda are the new "Water (Varun) Temples" of Gujarat. It has also opened a way for two prestigious schemes Sujalam Sufalam in North Gujarat and SAUNI (Saurastra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana, using excess overflowing flood water) in Saurastra, to fill up dams and ponds with Narmada water. The project has increased the irrigation command area substantially. The Kharif crops area in Gujarat is approximately 9 million hectares and the Rabi crops area is approximately 4 million hectares, have changed the agriculture economy of the State, pulling out the state from the severe draughts and scarcity conditions. All the creatures (humans, animals and birds) have gained happiness through the Sardar Sarovar Project. 

River Narmada has many crocodiles, therefore, Ganga Snan and Narmada Darshan have been given importance in Hindu rituals. As each stone (Kankar) of the river is considered divine (Shankar), it becomes a "Life Line" of Gujarat. Now many rivers including Sabarmati and steams of MG, NG and Saurastra- Kutch carry Narmada water through inflow or outflow. 

It is to note that the project was initiated in 1946 for survey, the foundation stone of the project was laid at Gora in Gujarat on 5 April 1961 by the then PM late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru of INC, but all the major decisions pushing the project ahead have come out during the tenure of other Governments. However many governments have contributed in building it's height step by step. The Khosla Committee Report of 1965 didn't resolve the height and water sharing disputes between Gujarat and MP. The NWDT was constituted in October 1969, gave it's final Report on 12 December 1979 (notification), allowed the formal start of the project. 

Many have been contributed in this journey of 71 years (1946-2017). Salutes to all of them🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏.

नमामि देवी नर्मदे ।

Punamchand
18 June 2017

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