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Monday, September 18, 2017

PM Narendra Modiji inaugurates Sardar Sarovar dam across Narmada

The Narmada, also called the Rewa, is the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent. It is the third longest river that flows entirely within India, after the Godavari, and the Krishna. It is also known as "Life Line of Madhya Pradesh" for its huge contribution to the state of Madhya Pradesh in many ways. It is one of only three major rivers in peninsular India that run from east to west (longest west flowing river), along with the Tapti River and the Mahi River.   Narmada' is a Sanskrit word meaning "the  Giver of Pleasure".

On occasion of his 67th  birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river.  The ‘engineering miracle’ is expected to provide power, drinking water, and irrigation to 9,000 villages in three states - Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.  The project which has been the subject of much controversy for decades now is one of the largest dams in the world. Before making any comments ~ do you know of the dams in Tamil Nadu and do you remember that in Chennai, river Adyaru overflowed on Saidapet bridge and in 2 years, the city is facing water crisis … and do you now who inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam project and when ?? 

                       Having a length of 1.2 kms and a depth of 163 metres, the dam is expected to be shared among the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.  It was April 5, 1961, when the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district's Kevadia. Fast forward 56 years, the dam was finally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, 2016, which was also his birthday.   The dam would help irrigate 8,00,000 hectares of land in the state and will provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages (53 per cent of a total of 18,144 villages of Gujarat). Besides, the canal network will also irrigate parts of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.  

The Sardar Sarovar project was a vision of the first deputy prime minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The foundation stone of the project was laid out by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru after carrying out a study on the usage of the Narmada river water that flowed through the states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and into the Arabian Sea. A project report prepared for the dam led to much dispute over the means of distributing the Narmada water among the three states- Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. As the negotiations bore no fruit, a Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) was created in 1969 to decide the fate of the project. 

Since that day in 1961, the  humongous project has seen numerous movements.  The project took form in 1979 as part of a development scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity.   Of the 30 dams planned on river Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) is the largest structure to be built. It is a part of the Narmada Valley Project, a large hydraulic engineering project involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi-purpose dams on the Narmada river. Following a number of controversial cases before the Supreme Court of India (1999, 2000, 2003), by 2014 the Narmada Control Authority had approved a series of changes in the final height – and the associated displacement caused by the increased reservoir, from the original 80 m (260 ft) to a final 163 m (535 ft) from foundation.

The dam's main power plant houses six 200 MW Francis pump-turbines to generate electricity and include a pumped-storage capability. Additionally, a power plant on the intake for the main canal contains five 50 MW Kaplan turbine-generators. The total installed capacity of the power facilities is 1,450 MW.

In Tamil Nadu, there are many minor and major dams – some of which are : Aathupalayam, Adavinainar, Aliyar, Bhavanisagar, Kalingarayan, Kallanai,  Krishnagiri, Lower Anaicut, Manjalar, Mukkudal,  Nallathangal, Orathuppalayam, Papanasam,  Pechiparai, Sathanur, Sothuparai, Vaigai, Varattupallam.  More than all these is the Mettur Dam, built  in 1934, also known  as  Stanley reservoir.   It was constructed at  where the Kaveri River enters the plains.  Maximum height and width of the Dam are 214 and 171 feet respectively. Maximum storage height is 120 feet. Mettur Dam receives the water from both Kabini Dam and Krishna Raja Sagara Dam located in Karnataka. There are 2 hydroelectric power stations in Mettur Dam, the first constructed during British rule and the second during the Indian Republic.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th Sept. 2017.

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