SSNNL receives permission to raise Sardar Sarovar Dam’s height

The Narmada Control Authority has approved plans to raise the dam wall of India’s 1,450-MW Sardar Sarovar hydropower project from 400 feet to about 455 feet.

NCA said the height increase will further the project’s ability to meet the irrigation demands of India’s arid Gujarat state.

The project cost an estimated US$7.7 billion when it was completed in 2007 following a construction process that lasted nearly two decades.

Sardar Sarovar is the centerpiece of the multi-billion-dollar Narmada Valley development project that taps the Narmada, India’s fifth-largest river, through a series of dams, reservoirs, and canals. Sardar Sarovar has a main powerhouse with six 200-MW reversible Francis units. Another powerhouse, with five 50-MW Kaplan turbines, is supplied with water from the giant canal system.

At the time of its completion, authorities said the dam would connect an 86,000-kilometer network of canals, help irrigate 1.8 million hectares of farmland, and provide drinking water to 20 million people in Gujarat and neighboring states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The dam also will help control floods, while its two power plants generate peaking power. reported that developer Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Lttd. (SSNNL) commissioned the last of the plant’s 11 turbine units in July 2008.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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