The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani flagged off statewide ‘Narmada Mahotsav Yatra’ from Surendranagar district on 6 September 2017, as part of a two-week celebration to mark the completion of Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River.
The main aim of the Yatra is to create awareness about the importance of increased water supply from Narmada canal-based projects in different parts of the state.
While Rupani flagged off a chariot in Surendranagar, other vehicles carrying statues of `Maa Narmada' were flagged off from other parts of the state.
According to an official statement, 84 `Narmada Raths' or `chariots' would travel across the state in these two weeks to spread awareness about the importance of the project and to depict the achievements of the state’s Agriculture and Veterinary Departments.
The yatra would culminate in Dabhoi town of Vadodara district, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of his birthday, which happens to fall on the same day.
The event comes just ahead of the state assembly polls, which are due in the end of this year.
• The foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River was laid in 1961 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
• The project took form in 1979 as part of a development scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity.
• Among the 30 dams planned on river Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Dam is the largest structure to be built.
• The state got permission from the Narmada Control Authority on 17 June 2017 to raise the height of the dam to its fullest, to 138.68 metres by closing all its 30 gates.
• The project will irrigate more than 18,000 km, most of it in drought prone areas of Kutch and Saurashtra.