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Sardar Sarovar Dam to be Higher
Jun 14, 2014

The government has decided to raise the height of the Narmada Dam by 17 metres—a longstanding demand of Gujarat—within 20 days of Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister. The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) approved the proposal to raise the dam's height from 121.9 metres to 138.7 metres, making it the second highest dam in the world after Grand Coulee in the US. 

In 2006, NCA had allowed the dam height to be raised up to 121.92 metres. At the Full Reservoir Level of 138.68 metres, there would be assured water for irrigation to an additional area of 6.8 lakh hectares, an additional 40% power generation, and enhanced water supply.

A higher dam will optimize hydro-power generation and water supply capacity of this project, and is expected to benefit not just Gujarat but also neighbouring Rajashthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat has been demanding this for the last eight years.

Raising of Narmada dam height to 138.68 meters will take at least 36 to 40 months once started.

Project at a Glance


  • Estimated Cost: Rs. 392.4 billion (8 billion USD)
  • Main Dam: 1,210 m long, 163 m high from the deepest foundation level
  • World's Second Largest Concrete Gravity Dam (by volume) after Grand Coulee
  • World's Third Highest Spillway discharging capacity: 87,000 m3/second
  • Designed Live Storage Capacity of the Reservoir 5860 MCM (4.75 million acre feet)
  • Hydropower: 1,450 MW installed capacity (1 billion kWh every year)
  • Irrigation: 1.905 million Ha (1.8 million Ha. in Gujarat benefitting 1 million farmers)
  • Drinking Water: 9633 villages and 131 towns (29 million people)
  • Canal Network: Approximately 75,000 km length within Gujarat
  • Main Canal: 458.318 km long, capacity 1,133 m3/second, 633 structures

Today The Sardar Sarovar Project is one of the largest water resources projects of India covering four major states:  Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Dam's spillway discharging capacity 85000 cumec (30.0 lakhs cusecs) would be third highest in the world. With 1133 cumecs (40000 cusecs) capacity at the head regulator, and 532 km. length, the Narmada Main Canal would be the largest irrigation canal in the world.

The project will generate between 856 to 1007 million units per year of cheap and eco-friendly, indigenous hydropower. Project would meet the drinking water needs of 9633 villages, 131 urban centers and benefits three sanctuaries.


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