After inaugurating the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadia colony of Narmada district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed a gathering in Dabhoi at the closing ceremony of ‘Narmada Mahotsav’. He also laid the foundation stone for National Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum during the event.
While addressing the crowd, Modi said the dam will improve Gujarat’s power generation capacity and help farmers. He also said that the dam was constructed despite several obstacles, including World Bank’s refusal in financing the project. In his speech, Modi dedicated the dam to those who constructed it and to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who envisioned the dream years ago.
Later, he also addressed the crowd in Amreli in Saurashtra. He also inaugurated College of Diary Science and a new APMC market yard in Amreli.
Below are the highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s events during the day.
— ANI (@ANI) September 17, 2017
4:31 pm: PM Modi has concluded his address.
4:30 pm: The central government will always help you in your endeavors, says PM Modi to farmers.
4:25 pm: “I urge the farming community here to explore opportunities relating to timber and honey. At the centre, we have a government that is sensitive to the needs and concerns of the farmers,” says Modi.
4:18 pm: In 2022, it will be 75 years of Indian independence. Amreli has played a huge role in the freedom struggle of India.
4:16 pm: “We are formulating policies to encourage people to join Navy and serve the country,” Modi said.
4:13 pm: “In any other part of the country, when you go you will be welcomed by sweets. It is only in Gujarat that you are welcomed by ice-creams,” Modi said.
4:13 pm: “The government of India wishes to see sweet revolution, just like green revolution and blue revolution happened in India. The Blue Revolution and Sweet Revolution have the potential to transform lives of people in Saurashtra.” PM Modi said.
4:12 pm: The e-NAM Yojana is helping farmers and giving them access to better markets.
4:11 pm: “The cooperative sector here is seeing changes. I am happy to see younger people coming to the fore and taking leadership. When I was serving as CM, I had the opportunity to facilitate the coming of dairies to Saurashtra,” said Modi.
4:08 pm: I have been to Amreli market a lot of times before, says PM Modi.
3:57 pm: PM Modi inaugurates College of Diary Science in Amreli
3:47 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shortly address a Sahakar Sammelan in Amreli.
3:03 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Amreli. He has also inaugurated a new APMC market yard in Amreli.
2:40 pm: Vadodara-Dabhoi road is jammed with GSRTC buses and vehicles departing from PM Modi’s rally.
1.15 pm: PM Modi concludes his speech, departs for Amreli from Dabhoi.
1.10 pm: PM Narendra Modi remembers Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh who died on Saturday. “We met at an event recently. At 98, he stood and saluted me. His discipline will be remembered by all and the coming generations with be inspired by him. India will always remember him for his sacrifices for Maa Bharti,” Modi said.
1.05 pm: “My adivasi brothers have fought for independence of Maa Bharati, despite British executing hundreds of adivasi fighters. People think only handful people fought for independence. Tribal Museums will pay tribute to valiant adivasi fighters,” he said. “Tribal museums will be digitally equipped and will connect the youth with the real heroes of the freedom struggle,” Modi added.
1.01 pm: Modi said the ‘Statue of Unity’ will be a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel and will draw tourists from all over.
12.50 pm: “I do not believe in celebrating my birthday. But it’s Vishwakarma Jayanti today and celebrating this day with so many people has been one of the biggest moments with my life,” said Modi.
12.45 pm: “There have been many who politicised the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. But we overcame all conspiracies against Maa Narmada to complete the Sardar Sarovar project,” Modi said.
12.41 pm: “Lack of water resources has been a major factor in slowing the pace of development,” Modi said. “As Gujarat CM, I still remember, as CM when I went to border areas I saw BSF Jawans do not have water. We brought Narmada waters to borders for Jawans.”
12.38 pm: “Formulation of plans and implementation is difficult in India. Sardar Sarovar Dam faced so many obstacles. World Bank decided they won’t give money for the Sardar Sarovar Dam,” Modi said. “World Bank or no World Bank, hamne bhi thaan li thi ke dam banaake rahenge,” he said.
12.35 pm: “If two people were alive, this dam would have been built long ago. One, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Two, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who as Minister gave great emphasis to irrigation and waterways,” Modi said. “Sardar Patel had envisioned the dam years before, you, I and we all were born, before our independence. He would be happy today…imagine his vision that he envisioned this Dam to help farmers and citizens,” he said.
12.32 pm: “Will leave no stone unturned to achieve New India like Mahatma Gandhi achieved a new India earlier,” he said.
12.30 pm: “I am grateful towards people who have extended their warm wishes towards me,” he said. “Jeeyunga toh aapke sapno ke liye,” Modi said amid cheers. “I will also exhaust myself to for your dreams, for New India.”
12.28 pm: “I convey my greetings to everyone on Vishwakarma Jayanti and salute all those working hard to build our nation,” Modi said. “There can be no bigger tribute to workers who constructed the Narmada dam than to dedicate the dam to those workers.”
12.26 pm: “I have visited Dabhoi a lot of times. I came on a bus sometimes, sometimes on a scooter. I have lots of memories. But I have never seen a sea of people in Dabhoi before. The huge crowd is a result of the devotion towards Maa Narmada,” said PM Modi.
12.23 pm: PM Narendra Modi starts addressing the audience in Dabhoi.
12.17 pm: PM Modi lays the foundation stone for a Tribal Museum to come up near Statue of Unity. He also felicitates winners of Maa Narmada Mahotsav competitions like slogan writing, essays, poems and a mobile film.
12.01 pm: Targetting the previous Congress government for ‘obstructing’ Narmada dam, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said, “For many years, Congress party had government in Gujarat and Centre but did nothing to complete Narmada Dam.” He added that Congress government did work of only Rs 3000 crore in its tenure, while PM Modi “completed work of Rs 56,000 crore for Narmada Dam in 15 years opening doors of development in Gujarat.”
11.55 am: “Interlinking of three of 30 rivers will begin within three months. We will strive to make all of PM Modi’s dreams come true,” said Gadkari.
11.53 am: “Four crore Gujaratis will get drinking water and 22,000 hectares of land will be irrigated,” claimed Gadkari adding that PM Modi completed the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “Narmada Dam will help realise PM Modi’s dream of making poor farmers wealthy by 2022,” he added.
11.40 am: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said he was grateful towards PM Narendra Modi on behalf of the country and farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat for the dam. “We care for the environment but the people of our country should get drinking water, farmers should get water for agriculture and the youth of this country should get jobs,” Gadkari said.
11.35 am: PM Modi arrives in Dabhoi to resounding chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. The Prime Minister will be addressing a gathering at the closing ceremony of ‘Narmada Mahotsav’.
11.20 am: Meanwhile in Madhya Pradesh, Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar is leadinga Jal Satyagraha in Barwani. Patkar and a few locals have submerged themselves neck-deep in water, demanding rehabilitation for those affected by the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam.
11.00 am: After reviewing the progress of the ‘Statue of Unity’ project, PM Modi started for Dabhoi where he will be addressing a gathering at the closing ceremony of ‘Narmada Mahotsav’.
— Aditi Raja (@aditijf) September 17, 2017
10.50 am: Here is how the world’s second largest dam looks like. Click here for the latest visuals from our staff photographer Bhupendra Rana
10.40 am: The foundation stone for the Sardar Sarovar Project was laid by country’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 5th April, 1961. The height of the Narmada dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, which the highest in the country. The 1.2-km-long dam has till date produced 4,141 crore units of electricity from its two power houses, which have an installed capacity of 1,200 MW and 250 MW. Electricity produced from the dam will be shared among three states — Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
10.30 am: PM Modi arrives in Kevadia, inaugurates Sardar Sarovar Dam.
10.00 am: Last night, PM Modi drove to younger brother’s residence on the outskirts of Gandhinagar to seek blessing from his mother Hiraba. Modi spent around 20 minutes with his mother. The PM interacted with children of the locality after coming out of his brother’s home
9.40 am: Meanwhile, BJP leaders today will be observing ‘Seva Diwas’ across the country on the occasion of PM Modi’s birthday. They will be attending blood donation drives, medical camps and, also, take part in cleanliness programmes.
9.30 am: Indian Express photographer Bhupendra Rana is at the dam site. This is how the weather looks like: overcast sky, light rainfall.
9.20 am: We have news coming in that the prime minister’s chopper was forced to land in Dabhoi due to bad weather in Kevadia. He will now make the 60 km journey from Dabhoi to Narmada district by road.
9.10 am: Readers can share their birthday wishes directly with the prime minister. Here is how:
visit narendramodi.in/happybirthdaypm. Create an account if you haven’t already and signin. You can write your birthday message on an existing template or customise the colours using the available options.
9.00 am: Welcome to our live blog. Today, PM Modi turned 67 and we will be tracking him throughout the day as he will be appearing at a string of official events. We wish a long life and a Happy Birthday.