Published On: Sun, Sep 17th, 2017

Modi inaugurates Narmada dam, says will ‘live and die’ for people’s dreams

Dabhoi (Gujarat): Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ambitious 138 metre inter-state Sardar Sarovar Dam project on Narmada river on his 67th birthday on Sunday, linking it with his “mission” to create a new India and roared: “I will live for your dreams, I will die for your dreams.”

They were committed to complete the dam even if the Word Bank stopped giving money

The Prime Minister, who was expected to reach the dam site at Kevadiya Colony around 9.15 am from Gandhinagar after receiving blessings from his octogenarian mother Heeraba, had to take a de tour due to bad weather. He landed in Dabhoi and travelled to Kevadiya Colony by car, reaching a little over an hour later.

Addressing the valedictory of a Narmada Mahotsav organised by the ruling BJP through 85 chariots that went around the state during the last 10 days before reaching Dabhoi, an hour’s drive from the dam site, Modi said: “Today is the culmination of a dream that Sardar Patel saw to end the water crisis of the states in western India much before I and many of us were born.

“There were just two mahapurush (great statesman), Sardar Patel and Babasaheb Ambedkar, in India. If they had lived even a few more years, the western states would already have had water and India would have been on the path to progress much earlier. But it was our misfortune that we had to lose them,” he said speaking in Hindi to a large, attentive crowd.

He said governments formulate and implement schemes, some of them face problems too, but “Maa Narmada is the only one which encountered the maximum hurdles. At one time, the entire world had ganged up against the scheme, the World Bank decided and stopped the loan to the ambitious project on the pretext of environment but the people of Gujarat stood firm.

“They were committed to complete the dam even if the Word Bank stopped giving money. Even temples of this state organised donations for this dam,” Modi said, adding that the water of Narmada was not simple water but “it is paaras” (a touchstone that converts iron to gold).

He said he had never indulged into politicking over the Narmada dam since it satiates the thirst of “lakhs of mothers, who used to trek kilometres, tribals who had to migrate far away, jawans at the borders in parched regions, mute cattle who had strut hundreds of kilometers for water and poor farmers”.

Modi said, “This is an emotional moment for me. I don’t celebrate birthdays but today is ‘vishwakarma jayanti’ and today a son has blessings of lakhs of mothers. This is not a government programme, this is not a BJP event, this is a celebration of the people.

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