Gandhinagar (Gujarat), June 12:
In a significant decision, the Narmada Control Authority has cleared an eight-year-old proposal to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by 17 metres, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel announced Thursday.
“The NCA has granted approval to raise the dam height to 138 metres,” Patel said at a function in Junagadh Thursday afternoon.
“Heartfelt gratitude from the people of Gujarat to Hon PM Narendra Modi. The decision pending has come so swiftly. Achchhe din aa Gaye hain!!” she confirmed on Twitter, before leaving to Kevadia for a visit to the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) site.
The decision will come as a boon to Gujarat, which regularly faces water crises because of deficient or sparse rainfall, though Narmada Bachao Andolan led by social activist Medha Patkar bitterly criticised the move.
The NCA permission will allow the dam height to be raised from present 121.92 metres to 138.72 metres and the work is expected to be taken up after the monsoon.
The decision comes just a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office.
The foundation stone for the SSP was laid by the late prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in April 1961.
Over the years, the project got embroiled in a series of controversies pertaining to rehabilitation of farmers, tribals and related issues.