Ahmedabad, September 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a gathering at the closing ceremony of the Narmada Mahotsav in Dabhoi called the Sardar Sarovar Dam an ‘engineering miracle’. He also urged future engineers to study the project further.

Talking largely about the dam project, he said it was the vision of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to come up with a massive project like the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Modi added if two persons, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Bhimrao Ambedkar, would have lived a few more years, India would have been one of the most developed country. “We specially remember two people today, Sardar Patel and Dr. Ambedkar, who as Minister gave great emphasis to irrigation & waterways,” he added.

The Prime Minister said as the Gujarat CM he used to visit the bordering areas. There he noticed the Border Security Force (BSF) were suffering from immense hardship due to water shortage. And it was then he decided to take away that suffering. He said, “I still remember, as CM when I went to border areas I saw BSF Jawans do not have water. We brought Narmada waters to borders for Jawans.”

PM Modi waving at the crowd after arriving at the dam site. (PIB)
PM Modi waving at the crowd after arriving at the dam site. (PIB)

He talked about ‘Vishwakarma’ the Indian god of engineering and said all the labours, all the engineers and all the creators who contributed their efforts in making Sardar Sarovar Dam a success have dedicated their work to the god as well. “I convey my greetings to everyone on Vishwakarma Jayanti and salute all those working hard to build our nation,” he said.

I convey my greetings to everyone on Vishwakarma Jayanti and salute all those working hard to build our nation

He welcomed all the leaders and former ministers present at the event and other wise and the crowd.He recalled the past memories he has with the state and Dabhoi. ‘But I have never seen such a massive crowd in Dabhoi ever before’ he said. He said it is the proof of people’s devotion to Narmada.

PM Modi paying homage to Sardar Patel's Statue at the dam site. (PIB)
PM Modi paying homage to Sardar Patel’s Statue at the dam site. (PIB)

He thanked all his well-wishers who wished him on his birthday and said the expectations of the Indian population to make a ‘New India’ will be fulfilled. He said he believes the struggles of Mahatma Gandhi, the struggles of the people will bear fruit and a ‘New India’ will be a realised.

He remembered how World Bank initially refused to provide funds to the Sardar Sarovar Bank citing environmental degradation. However, after the earthquake in Gujarat, the same World Bank awarded an environmental award to the state.

PM Modi monitoring the dam site (PIB)
PM Modi monitoring the dam site (PIB)

As per reports, more than 1.5 lakh people were expected to turn up for the event. PM Modi will also laid the foundation stone for National Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum during the event. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were also present at the event.

Before the PM’s speech, a short film explaining the state-of-art facilities of the Museum was shown. This was followed by the Prime Minister awarding prizes to winners of poetry, slogan and short story writing competitions which were held during the Narmada Mahotsav celebrations. A coffee table book ‘Keeping Promises’ about the rehabilitation efforts made for those displaced due to the dam was also launched.

PM Modi paying tribute to the river Narmada before inaugurating the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
PM Modi paying tribute to the river Narmada before inaugurating the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Earlier today, Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam at an event in Kevadia. The inauguration came 56 years after the dam was initiated in 1961 by then PM, Jawaharlal Nehru. He also reviewed the progress of the 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Sadhu Bet.

Noteworthy that all these events coincided with Modi’s birthday today, which is being celebrated across the nation. Because of this, PM Modi met his mother and sought her blessings. Modi then arrived at the dam site.