The state government on Friday announced PM Narendra Modi will perform formal closure of Sardar Sarovar dam’s sluice gates, enabling the Narmada River waters to rise to its full height of 138.68 metres, at the Narmada Mahotsav.
The Narmada Mahotsav, to be held between July 29 and August 12, is organised by the state to celebrate the Supreme Court and centre’s nod to close the gates. The government has started preparations and the PM’s rally is expected to be attended by more than two lakh people.
Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said, “PM Narendra Modi will attend the gate closing ceremony on August 12 at the dam site and address a rally in Dabhoi town of Vadodara district. He will perform a ‘maha puja’ and ‘aarti’ of River Narmada to pray for the prosperity of Gujarat.”
Patel said it would be a grand celebration and the government will take out a Narmada Rathyatra for which 80 ‘raths’ (chariots) have been prepared. The yatra will travel across the areas which have benefitted from Narmada-based projects. The ‘rath’ would visit towns and cities between August 8 and August 10. An idol of Goddess Narmada will be installed in all ‘raths’ for people to offer ‘puja’.
The ‘Narmada Mahotsav’ is expected to laud Modi for completion of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Patel said apart from audio-visual presentations, cultural programmes, laser shows, and public events will be organised at all places where the ‘rath’ stops. Earlier, the state had decided to hold week-long celebrations, but the programme was extended after Modi gave his nod to attend the event.
A website on Narmada Mahotsav has also been launched. As per information available on the website, the ‘rath’ will cover 10,000 villages in 24 districts comprising a population of four crore which have benefitted from the project.