After a 54-year-long delay, the Sardar Sarovar Dam was finally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. However, the prime minister’s comment that the dam faced numerous hurdles, did not go down well with the Congress, which called the inauguration an “election gimmick.”
While addressing a rally at the Dam site, Modi had said that no other project in the world has faced so many hurdles as this “engineering miracle” which many people had “conspired to stop“.
After dedicating the dam to the nation on his 67th birthday, said, “Many false allegations were hurled on us. Many people conspired to stop this project. But we were determined not to take make it a political battle.”
“I have knowledge (‘kacha chittha’) of everyone who tried to stall this project, but I will not name them as I do not want to go on that route,” Modi said.
“A massive misinformation campaign was launched against the project. The World Bank which had earlier agreed to fund the project, refused to give loan for it raising environmental concerns. But, with or without the World Bank, we completed the massive project on our own,” he said.
“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.