GUJARAT: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river in Gujarat on Sunday. The Sardar Sarovar Dam stands as the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat today, Madhya Pradesh bore thousands in its belly who carried out a ‘Jal Satyagraha‘ – a protest standing barefoot in water. The protesters, led by Narmada Bachao Aandolan founder Medha Patkar, say that the water from the dam is likely to affect 40,000 families who might have to leave their homes that will be submerged.
Speaking at a public rally in Dabhoi in Gujarat, Modi said this event marks another step towards building a ‘new India’ by 2022, when the country would mark 75 years of independence. He took this opportunity to remember Sardar Patel and BR Ambedkar saying the project would have seen the light of day decades earlier if they would have lived a little longer. Showing absolutely no concern whatsoever for the 40,000 families who would be weeded out of their soil, Modi seemed more concerned about the structure, calling it an “engineering miracle”.
Activists have been long demanding that the filling of the dam’s reservoir with water be stopped immediately and the its gates remain open so as to reduce the water level. The project has been entangled in controversies ever since its foundation stone was laid in 1961 by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.