Sardar Sarovar Dam, a project for harnessing the Narmada river for irrigation and power generation, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 September, 2017. The foundation stone of the dam was laid by the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 5 April, 1961.
Sardar Sarovar Dam, a unique example of engineering, was constructed by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam, a wholly-owned government of Gujarat undertaking.
The project involves construction of 30 major, 135 medium and around 3,000 small dams on River Narmada to divert water from Narmada river towards drought prone areas in Gujarat, Rajasthan
The plan for the project was initiated in 1946. Though the work began in 1987, the project faced many hurdles including the World Bank’s refusals to fund the project and the Supreme Court’s stay order in 1996 over environmental and rehabilitation issues. The World Bank had originally agreed to finance the project. It also faced very stiff opposition from environmentalist and project affected people.
However, in 2000 the stay order was withdrawn and permission to restart construction with conditions was granted. The project was finally dedicated to the nation after a span of 56 years.