In 1979 as part of a development scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity 30 large dams was planned on river Narmada.The
major dams on Narmada river are : Sardar Sarovar Dam, Maheshwar Dam, Maan Dam, Indira Sagar Dam, Bargi Dam and Goi Dam
Of the 30 big dams proposed along the Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) and Narmada Sagar Project (NSP) are the
megadams. The Maheshwar and Omkareshwar dams along with SSP and NSP, are to form a complex which would ultimately cater to the needs of SSP.
Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is the largest multipurpose project involved in the
construction, with a proposed height of 136.5 m, In February 1999, the Supreme Court of India gave the go ahead for the dam's height to
be raised to 88 metres from the initial 80. In March 2006, despite popular protest, the Supreme Court gave clearance for the height to be increased to 121.92 metres.
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a peoples organisation that mobilised tribal people, adivasis,
farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the Narmada river,
Gujarat. The Andolan (campaign) includes hunger strikes and garnering support from noted film and art personalities together with its leading spokespersons Medha Patkar and Baba Amte.
In 1985, after hearing about the Sardar Sarovar dam, Medha Patkar and her colleagues visited the project site and noticed the
project work being shelved due to an order by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The reasons for this
was cited as "non-fulfillment of basic environmental conditions and the lack of completion of crucial studies and
plans". What she noticed was that the people who were going to be affected were given no information, but for the offer for rehabilitation.
Medha Patkar approached the Ministry of Environment to seek clarifications. She realized, after seeking answers from the
ministry, that the project was not sanctioned at all, and wondered as to how funds were even sanctioned by the World Bank. Patkar quit
her studies and focus entirely on the Narmada activity. Thereafter, she organized a 36-day long, solidarity march among the neighboring states of the Narmada valley from Madhya Pradesh to the Sardar Sarovar dam.
Medha Patkar established Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in 1989,
all other groups joined this national coalition of environmental and human rights activists, scientists, academics and project-affected
people with a non-violent approach. Medha Patkar advised also World Bank to their propaganda. Using the right to fasting, she undertook
a 22 day fast that almost took her life. In 1991, her actions led to an unprecedented independent review by the World Bank. The Morse
Commission, appointed in June 1991 at the recommendation of The World Bank conducted its first independent review of a World Bank
project. Due to the review of World Bank the Indian Government pulling out of its loan agreement with the World Bank.
In 1994, the Bachao Andolan office was attacked reportedly by a couple of political parties, where Patkar and other activists were
physically assaulted and verbally abused. In protest, a few NBA activists and she began a fast and 20 days later, they were
arrested and forcibly fed intravenously.Patkar led Narmada Bachao Andolan had filed a written petition with the Supreme Court of India
seeking stoppage of construction on the Sardar Sarovar dam. The Supreme Court also deliberated on this issue further for several
years but finally upheld the Tribunal Award and allowed the construction to proceed, subject to conditions.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) on 27 July 2011 suffered a set-back after the Supreme Court rejected its plea for land for the
landless displaced by construction of a dam for providing irrigation facilities to farmers in Khargone district in Madhya Pradesh. The
NBA wanted dierction to the Madhya Pradesh government to allot two hectares of land to each of the ousted families as part of a relief
andrehabilitation package for those affected by the Upper Veda Project on Veda river in the district.
The apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B.S. Chauhan in their judgment said that it did not find any "cogent
reason" in the demand for allotment of agricultural land to the landless oustees affected by the submergence of the dam affected
area. The court said that "contention is devoid of merit".Speaking for the bench, Justice Chauhan said:
"Neither it (land to landless oustees) had ever been contemplated nor it is compatible with the policy. Nor has such a
land ever been allotted to this class of persons. The contention is hereby rejected."
The river has been mentioned by Ptolemy in the Second century AD as Namade. There are several references of
Narmada in the Ramayana, the Mahabharat and Puranas. The Rewa Khand of Vayu Purana and the Rewa Khand of Skanda Purana are entirely devoted
to the story of the birth and the importance of the river Narmada. Legends also mention that the Narmada River is older than the river Ganga.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity gets Rs. 200 crore in Budget 2014
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed, in his Union budget 2014 speech on July 10, 2014, setting aside Rs.200 crore for the erection of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.
The larger than life image of “Iron Man” Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Statue of Unity is touted to be the world’s tallest structure when it’s completed.
“Government of Gujarat has embarked upon the mission to build the largest statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. Sardar Patel stands as the
symbol of the unity of the country,” said Mr. Jaitley. “To support the Gujarat Government in this initiative to erect the Statue of Unity, I propose to set aside a sum of Rs.200 crore,” he said.
The 182 metres (597 feet) tall monument is planned to come up at Sadhu Bet, directly facing the Sardar Sarovar dam — also named after Sardar
Patel — on the Narmada river, near Bharuch in Gujarat.
Narmada project may raise Rs 700 cr in 2 years for dams
Narmada Basin Project Company is planning to raise Rs 700 crore by the end of next fiscal.
For this, the Narmada Valley Development Authority- floated company may go for raising money through infrastructure bonds or seeking loan from
the World Bank or some other lending agency. The company may raise Rs 100 crore this fiscal and remaining Rs 600 crore the next financial year.
Now, only 13 years are left for the state to utilise remaining 12.25 MAF. Seven major, 19 medium and 1,000 minor dams have been constructed
so far as against the requirement of 29 major, 135 medium and 3,000 minor dams, said Rawat. The NVDA promises to irrigate 27 lakh hectare
agricultural land against existing 3 lakh hectare.