Final raising of Sardar Sarovar Dam to EL 138.68 metres cleared by Narmada Control Authority

New Delhi, June 17, 2017

The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has cleared the final raising of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) in Gujarat, by lowering of gates and impounding of water in the reservoir, upto its Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of Elevation Level (EL) 138.68 mts. 
The NCA which met here yesterday under the chairmanship of Dr. Amarjit Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (WR, RD & GR) considered all aspects of environmental and resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) issues, an official press release said.
Raising of SSD was cleared the last time on June 12, 2014, when permission for Phase-I construction of piers, overhead bridge and installation of gates in open or raised position was granted. At that time, the effective height of SSD remained at EL 121.92 mts. with backwater levels of EL 134.32 mts. at dam site. 
With lowering of gates of SSD, the live storage capacity would increase from 1565 to 5740 MCM, that is, by 4175 MCM (267%). The clean (hydro-power generation) would increase from present 1300 MW to 1450 MW with increase in annual generation by about 1100 Million Units (i.e. about Rs.400  crore per annum).
In addition, this additional storage would irrigate about 8 lakh hectares. Additionally, about one crore population would get assured drinking water. As is well known, the Sardar Sarovar Project would primarily meet the water requirement of drought prone and desert areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the release said.
Prior to clearance by NCA, the Environment Sub-group of NCA chaired by Mr. Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), reviewed the implementation of Environment Safeguard Measures on May 1 and, after observing substantial progress, recommended Phase-II proposal of lowering down of the gates and impounding of water in the reservoir to FRL of EL 138.68 mts. The Environment Sub-group has also asked the State Governments to complete leftover works by June 30.
The Resettlement and Rehabilitation sub-group chaired by Ms. G. Latha Krishna Rao, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) reviewed the progress of R&R and the opinions received from Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRAs) of the States of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra on June 16. 
The State Governments have promised to address all issues of Project Affected Families (PAFs) on priority basis in accordance with Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) Award, liberalized policies of the State Governments and Supreme Court Order dated February 8,2017, the release said.
"NCA has permitted final raising of SSD after following the procedure laid down by Supreme Court order dated October 18, 2000 in WP(C) 328 of 2002 in Narmada Bachao Andolan Vs. Union of India & others," the release added.

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