False allegations leveled, conspiracies hatched to stall Sardar Sarovar project: PM. ‘Massive misinformation campaign on environmental impact of project’.
As Gujarat CM in 2006, Modi had gone on a 51-hour fast to pressure the Congress-led UPA to permit increasing the height of the dam
With the state BJP harping on water as a key vote churner in the coming polls, Modi hit out at the project’s opponents — the Narmada Bachao Andolan and Congress — without naming them by recalling how this “engineering marvel” had to overcome a torrent of conspiracies and sustained campaigns of canard to become a reality after five decades of building.
Prime Minister Modi has virtually kicked off the campaign for the upcoming assembly polls with his back-to-back visits to Gujarat. On September 14, he along with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation stone for another ambitious project — Rs 1.1 lakh crore Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train.
“No other project in the world has faced as many hurdles as the Sardar Sarovar Dam. But we were determined to complete the project,” Modi said at a rally in Dabhoi, around 60 km from Kevadiya where he dedicated the project to the nation. While hailing the contribution of Sardar Patel, who had conceived the idea of a dam over the Narmada, as well as Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Modi took a swipe at Congress saying that the progress of Sardar Sarovar had always hit roadblocks when people, who give more importance to their party than the nation, were ruling.
“There was a tirade of false allegations at us and several conspiracies were hatched to stall this project. But we were determined not to take make it a tool for political disputes,” he said. “I have a kachcha chittha (detailed account) of all those who tried to stall this project, but I will not name them as I don’t want to indulge in political mudslinging,” the PM said, recalling how the World Bank did a U-turn on funding this project following a massive misinformation campaign on its environmental impact. “But we were determined.. World Bank or no World Bank.. to will ensure that the dam is built,” he said.
It may be recalled that as Gujarat CM in 2006, Modi had gone on a 51-hour fast to pressure the Congress-led UPA government to permit increasing the height of the dam. The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres.
Modi, who also laid the foundation stone for a tribal museum near Sadhu Beyt at Kevadiya, said, “Some people think that India got independence because of a handful of people… In reality, many tribals sacrificed a lot… I strongly believe that these tribals must get the respect. Future generations must know their contribution.”