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Height of Sardar Sarovar dam raised

Jan 01, 2007 12:19 PM IST India India

New Delhi: The raising of height of the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat was completed on Sunday. Height of the dam is raised to 121.92 meters, from its earlier height of 110.64 meters, which had earned the wrath of environmentalists.

The environmental groups say the project will destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands.

The Sardar Sarovar is the centrepiece of the multi-billion dollar Narmada Valley development project through a series of dams, reservoirs and canals. The dam is constructed in Gujarat to tap Narmada, India's fifth-largest river.

Gujarat hailed the completion of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an answer to the thirst, irrigation and power needs of millions in the state.

Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi attended the function held to mark the completion of the project.

Modi said that this will enable Gujarat to produce 1459 MW of electricity in a month from now. But critics say that’s possible only if the dam functions at full capacity.

Madhya Pradesh has a 57 per cent share, Maharastra 27 per cent and Gujarat has 16 percent share of the power generated at the dam.

Upto 5,700 crore cubic feet of water will now be available for irrigation and power generation at the dam.

The storage will enable assumed irrigation in four lakh hectares of land around Sardar Sarovar project.

At least five years had lost in protracted legal battles with activists from the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), or Save the Narmada Movement. The NBA says the dam will displace 3,20,000 people – many of them poor tribal farmers who have not been properly resettled on fertile land, and disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands more.

Modi had embarked on a fast in Ahmedabad accusing the Central government of trying to stall efforts to raise the height of the dam.