AHMEDABAD: Over two years after the installation of gates on the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river, 26 of its total 30 gates were opened on Friday morning following heavy inflow of water from upstream, the Gujarat government said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel reached the dam, located near Kevadiya in Narmada district, early Friday morning to witness the historic occasion.
Prior to the installation of gates, the height of the dam was 121.92 meters. In 2017, when the gates were installed, the height of the dam rose to 138. 72 meters.
In March 2017, the state government had informed the Legislative Assembly that the work of installing all the 30 gates on the Sardar Sarovar Dam was completed.
In June that year, the state got permission from the Centre to shut the gates of this dam.
Patel said the Narmada Control Authority has, however, given permission to fill the dam only up to 131 meters.
The state government needs to take a separate approval to fill the dam to the brim, he added.
Due to the huge inflow of water from Madhya Pradesh, the dam's water storage touched the height of 131.5 meters during midnight, following which, 26 gates were opened in the morning in the presence of Rupani and Patel, the state government said in a release.
"It is for the first time the water storage has touched the height of 131.5 meters. That is why we have opened the gates. Gujarat has proved its engineering prowess by filling the dam up to this level. Apart from the release of water into the river, we are also releasing it in the main canal," Rupani told reporters at Kevadiya.
He added that the administration has been alerted and asked to take precautionary steps in view of the release of water in the Narmada river downstream.
Rupani said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given permission to raise the height of the dam in 2014.
The current storage of water in the dam is 75. 99 per cent of its total storage capacity. Several parts of the state are being lashed by heavy rains since the last two days.
In a release, the government said that 18 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 11 teams of the State Disaster Response Force have been deployed at different locations to help the people.
At present, 154 roads in Chhota Udepur and Tapi districts were shut due to heavy water-logging.
The State Emergency Operation Centre is in touch with all the districts and keeping a close watch on the situation, the release said.