Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turns 69 on Tuesday, will visit the site of Gujarat’s Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river whose water level has reached its highest mark for the first time to celebrate the feat and start “Namami Narmade” festival.
For the first time since the height of the dam was raised in 2017, the water level reached its highest peak at 138.68 metres on Sunday evening.
The prime minister will land at Ahmedabad airport on Monday night. He will visit the dam site at Kevadiya in Narmada district on his 69th birthday on Tuesday morning to attend the “Namami Narmade Mahotsava” to celebrate the water level milestone, according to a state government release issued on Monday.
Before leaving for Kevadiya on early Tuesday morning from Gandhinagar, the PM would visit his nonagenarian mother, Hiraba, in Raisan village near the state capital to seek her blessings, said an official.
“After visiting the dam site at Kevadiya, the prime minister would address a gathering. We are erecting a large dome structure to accommodate around 10,000 people for the event who would come from Narmada, Bharuch and Chhotaudepur districts.
“After his address, the PM would inspect some ongoing developmental projects near the dam and the Statue of Unity,” said Narmada district collector, IK Patel.
The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest such structure in the name of the country’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Before leaving the site at around 12 noon, the prime minister is expected to visit the temple of Lord Dattatreya at Garudeshwar village near Kevadiya.
Temple authorities have confirmed that they have been given intimation by the officials that the PM will visit the temple before 12 noon, he said.
The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) had in 2014 granted permission to raise the height of the mega-dam to 138.68 metres from 121.92 metres.
The dam was inaugurated by PM Modi on September 17, 2017.
The dam aims to provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages (53 per cent of total 18,144 villages in Gujarat) and irrigation facilities for 18.54 hectares of land, covering 3,112 villages in 15 districts.
The government had said the “Namami Devi Narmade Mahotsava” event will be held across the state while the main event is scheduled at Kevadiya.
Famous folk artists and singers from the Gujarat film industry will participate in public celebrations in various cities on Tuesday to mark the occasion.
Senior BJP MLAs will lead celebrations at the district level, it said.