The Sardar Sarovar Dam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, has been a controversial subject for the last six decades. The dam – built on the Narmada river in Navagam, Gujarat – has been disputed between state governments and even invited concerns of activists.
It is due to deliberations invited by these issues that the dam took almost six decades to be built. It was finally inaugurated by Modi on 17 September 2017 after the foundation stone for it was laid by the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, on 5 April 1961.
Even before Nehru laid the foundation stone for the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the first deputy prime minister, had conceptualised the dam in 1946.
Everyone agreed to harness Narmada river’s water for power, electricity, irrigation, and drinking.
Fifteen years after the idea was conceptualised, Nehru laid the foundation stone for the dam on 5 April 1961.
The Narmada, which is the fifth largest river in India, takes begins near the Amarkantak mountain range in Madhya Pradesh and goes through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. It eventually meets the Gulf of Khambat on the shores of Gujarat.