Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the world's second biggest dam, Sardar Sarovar Dam, and said citizens should leave no stone unturned in creating a 'New India' by 2022.
Addressing a gathering after the inauguration, Modi said, "Let us leave no stone unturned in creating a ‘New India’ by 2022, when we mark 75 years of India’s freedom."
He further thanked the people for attending the event and extended his greetings on Vishwakarma Jayanti.
"I salute all those working hard to build the nation," he added.
Remembering Sardar Patel and Dr Ambedkar as ministers who gave great emphasis to irrigation and waterways, he said that for some reason, Sardar Patel was not given the credit he deserved after independence.
"He would be happy if he were alive. Imagine his vision that he envisioned this dam to help farmers and citizens," said Modi while addressing the people.
"The dam will not only change the fate of farmers in Gujarat, but also Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan," he added.
Stressing on the hurdles Sardar Sarovar project faced, he said that a lot of people came in the way of the project, but the determination to complete it kept them going.
"When I was the Gujarat Chief Minister, I had gone to border areas where I saw BSF Jawans do not have water. But I ensured they get clean drinking water from Narmada," he said.
"When the World Bank had refused to help build Sardar Sarovar dam, the saints and seers of Gujarat donated money to make it possible, he added.
Modi claimed that the Sardar Sarovar Dam will transform lives and help several citizens.
After performing a puja, he unveiled the plaque dedicating the dam to the nation on his 67th birthday.
The foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, it took 56 years to complete its construction.
Modi's visit, which has added significance as assembly elections are due in Gujarat by the year-end, is the second in less than a week after he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the state and launched the bullet train project.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were present on the occasion.
Earlier, Modi had stressed that the dam will start a new chapter in the prosperity of the state.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had called the project as "Gujarat’s lifeline" noting that the agriculture income and production of farmers in the state more than doubled because of it.
The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, which will allow maximum 'usable storage' of 4.73 million acre feet of water.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Congress has claimed that the project is not complete and canals of 43,000 km length were yet to be built despite the BJP ruling the state for 22 years.
(With inputs from PTI)...