Narendra Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam

Narendra Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam
From Al Jazeera - September 17, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India's biggest dam, ignoring warnings from environmental groups that hundreds of thousands of people will lose their livelihoods.

Modi dedicated the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the people of India on Sunday.

The project was an "engineering miracle" and a "symbol of India's new and emerging power", he said.

The dam's inauguration coincided with Modi's 67th birthday.

The controversial project on the Narmada River, in the country's western state of Gujarat, will provide power and water to three big states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

The dam is the second-biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.

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The project has been beset by controversy since the laying of the foundation stone by then-prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961.

Ahead of the inauguration Modi said in a tweet, "This project will benefit lakhs of farmers and help fulfil people's aspirations."

The dam is expected to provide water to 9,000 villages and the power generated will be shared among the three states.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), led by social activist Medha Patkar, has been protesting the project, raising several environmental concerns.

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