Narmada Dam update

The government has decided to raise the height of the Narmada dam by 17 metres -a longstanding demand of Gujarat -within 20 days of Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister.
On Thursday, the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) approved the proposal to raise the dam's height from 121.9 metres to 138.7 metres, making it the second highest dam in the world after Grand Coulee in the US. The approval came two days after Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel met Modi and water resources minister Uma Bharati and reiterated the state's demand.
A higher dam will optimize hydro-power generation and water supply capacity of this project, and is expected to benefit not just Gujarat but also neighbouring Rajashthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Gujarat has been demanding this for the last eight years, and Modi would place this demand before the Centre on every official visit to Delhi as chief minister.
Immediately after getting central approval, chief minister Anandiben Patel rushed to the dam site at Kevadia to perform a puja to start work. “Heartfelt gratitude from the people of Gujarat to Hon PM Narendra Modi. The decision pending has come so swiftly. Achchhe din aa gaye hain,“ Patel tweeted on Thursday.
J N Singh, managing director, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, said, “We will be able to start full fledged construction work only after monsoon.“ NCA sub-committees on resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) as well as environment had already recommended that permissions for raising the dam height be granted.
In 2006, NCA had allowed the dam height to be raised up to 121.92 metres. Senior government officials say at the full reservoir level of 138.68 metres, there would be assured water for irrigation to an additional area of 6.8 lakh hectares, an additional 40% power generation, and enhanced water supply. The new height will ensure that power generation at the dam site will be 1450MW throughout the year. Gujarat government and the state BJP are planning a grand celebration across the state shortly in presence of Modi. The Gujarat Congress hailed the NCA decision and demanded that work should be completed at the earliest. During the Lok Sabha election campaign, PM candidate Narendra Modi would often repeat, “Mosad ma jamanvaar hoy, Maa peerasnari hoy, Kendra ma BJP ni sarkaar hoy, Gujarat ni leela laher“. The `leela laher' which roughly translates to `good times ahead', appears to be central to the decision of raising the height of the Narmada dam to 138.68m, which promises 40% more power, doubling the area of agricultural land under irrigation, more water for domestic and industial use and most importantly, assured drinking water supply in scarcity-prone Saurashtra and North Gujarat even in drought.
Government officials on Thursday were fully equipped with data on the multiple benefits awaiting the state once the state government expedites work on the Narmada dam and canal networks. Officials said that at Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 138.68 metres, there will be an increase in storage capacity from the present 1.27 Million Acre Feet (MAF) to 4.75 MAF, which is almost three times more.

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