PM Narendra Modi's engagements on his birthday: Full schedule

PM Narendra Modi's engagements on his birthday: Full schedule”

By Our Representative As Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes ahead with his unprecedented birthday bash at the Narmada dam on September 17, reports from the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh say the water levels have risen to 128.50 metres, higher than ever before, with waters entering starting to enter the historic Rajghat in Badwani district, where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba and Mahadev Desai have been kept.

Earlier, Modi had stressed that the project will start a new chapter of prosperity for Gujarat. The inaugural event, held on the occasion of PM Modi's 67th birthday on Sunday, will also see the culmination of the fortnight-long Narmada Mahotsav - launched by the Gujarat government to celebrate the completion of the work. It will culminate at Dabhoi in Vadodara district on Sunday, where Modi will address a public meeting.

Rupani further added that it was due to his tireless efforts to have flood-gates installed on it, that the dam had attained its full height, formally marking completion of the project.

Similar to his birthday a year ago, the prime minister will spend the day in his home-state Gujarat attending a series of official events. "After Modiji became Prime Minster, the go-ahead was given within a few days", Rupani said recently.

While the main and sub canal network work has been completed, work on about 30 per cent of minor canals is still in progress, they said.

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The dam is as an emotive issue for the people of Gujarat, who largely depend on Narmada waters to quench thirst and irrigate agriculture fields.

Explaining the characteristics of the Sardar Sarovar project, the official said that it is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it.

The "Jal Satyagaraha" protest began on Friday on the banks of the Narmada river at Chota Barda village in Dhar where the water level is gradually rising. Reiterating that a large number of affected families haven't yet received housing plots and compensation entitled to them, the release said, "Thousands of applications remain unheard before the Grievance Redressal Authority, leaving no options to the families but to protest on streets". Though the foundation stone for the project was laid by Nehru in 1961, construction work on it could not commence till February 1980 due to litigation on issues relating to the environment and rehabilitation of displaced villagers.

The construction work was suspended in 1994 after National Basketball Association activists obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court, which highlighted environmental and rehabilitation issues.

The construction of the dam was not exactly smooth.

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