The Sardar Sarovar Dam or Narmada Dam is located at Kevadiya in Gujarat. It is built across the Narmada River and it is a part of the Narmada Valley Project that includes multi-purpose hydroelectric dams for power generation. The project was started in the year of 1979.
This dam of Sardar Sarovar is the lifeline of Gujarat and also plays the lead role for Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra for their water, irrigation and hydroelectric power requirements. It is the second-largest dam in the world in terms of size and volume capacity. Sardar Sarovar Dam has helped the population of Gujarat with its agricultural irrigation and drinking water requirements. The agricultural output of Saurashtra, Kutch, Central Gujarat and North Gujarat has improved in manifolds due to its water supply.
For hydroelectric power production, there are two powerhouses constructed over the dam site, the river bed powerhouse and the canal head powerhouse. These both powerhouses generate ample electricity that goes to a large part of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and even to Rajasthan.
History of Sardar Sarovar Dam
This dam was the dream project of India’s visionary first deputy Prime Minister, Shree Sardar Vallabhbhai Pate. And the Foundation stone of the same was laid by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The river of Narmada has a huge water reservoir and it was studied that a whole lot of the same flowed into the Arabian Sea, a simple wastage of resources. However in the beginning the project was on a dispute between the three states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and MP regarding the state share of water and how it will be distributed. And to resolve the same in the year 1969 the authority was organized called The Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT), this was to decide the fate of the project. And the NWDT gives its verdict after a decade of its formation based on the lots of studies and reports submitted by the three states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. And the verdict was that out of the total volume of water available for distribution, 65 percent of the same will be offered to Madhya Pradesh, 35 percent to Gujarat and only 3 percent was granted to Maharashtra.
However, even after that, the construction of the world’s second-largest dam was not easy and soon it catches the attention of environmental activists. They notice that the planned design of the Narmada Sardar Sarovar Dam did not match the guidelines and conditions laid by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. It was when the lady Medha Patkar who visited the dam site in 1985 and the “Narmada Bachao Andalon” campaign gets momentum, the foreign media took interest in it. She was not alone there, other known personalities like Baba Amte, Arundhati Roy and Amir Khan participated in the moment. But all of these were firmly rejected by the Supreme Court of India and the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was allowed after many years of deliberation.
Travelling To Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam
There is no direct connectivity to Sardar Sarovar Dam by air but you can travel by rail or road. It is well connected to the important cities of Gujarat like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Baroda and Surat. Also, there is direct connectivity from Bharuch, Rajpipla, Dabhoi, Chanod and more. One can visit this marvelous place in Gujarat by car or tourist bus. As it is one of the important places of Gujarat Tourism, there is an ample rush of tourists throughout the year from different part of the state as well as from other states. If you want to travel by air then the nearest airport is Vadodara and the nearest railway station in Bharuch.
Travel Guide To Sardar Sarovar Dam
The dam is surrounded by scenic beauty. There is a lush green forest with one of the largest water reservoirs in the world and it makes this place a marvelous beauty in the monsoon. Also, the added achievement to the place is The Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world. Few more places to visit nearby Sardar Sarovar Dam are Kashivishwanath Mahadev Temple at Chandod, Sagai – Malsamot Eco Campsite, Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Zarwani Eco Campsite, Kabirwad, Kanjeta Eco Campsite, Kevadia Colony, Vishal Khadi Eco Campsite, Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajpipla and many more. Some of these places can be visited with prior permission only.
The sunset point of Dykes & Lakes located next to Narmada Main Canal is also worth exploring. The tour of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam is full of religious places, wildlife sanctuary, eco-tourism and adventure sports. Also, the night spent at Narmada Tent City and river rafting at 4.5 kilometers stretch from Khalwani will surely give you an adrenaline rush.
Visiting the dam is best suggested during the monsoon and the start of winter. Which is from the August to November period of the year. And it is advised to at least spent a night at Narmada Tent City to explore and enjoy the place in full.
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