New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attended the ‘Namami Narmada’ festival at Kevadiya Gujarat. The festival is being celebrated by the Gujarat government to mark the filling up of the dam to its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres. For the first time since the height of the dam was raised in 2017, the water level reached its highest peak on evening of 16th September. PM also performed puja at the dam site to welcome the water of river Narmada, the lifeline of Gujarat.
Later, the Prime Minister visited the Khalvani Eco-Tourism site in Kevadiya and a Cactus Garden. At the Butterfly Garden in Kevadiya, the Prime Minister released a large basket full of butterflies into the park. He also visited the Ekta Nursery, situated in the vicinity of the Statue of Unity. Later the PM addressed a public meeting next to the ‘Statue of Unity’.
PM stated “I am blessed to see water in the SardarSarovar Dam rise above 138 metres. The SardarSarovar Dam is a ray of hope for the people of Gujarat. It is a boon for lakhs of hardworking farmers”.
Comparing the tourist flow at Statue of Unity with Statue of Liberty, the PM said, “Within 11 months of unveiling, the Statue of Unity is attracting tourist footfall which is almost on par with the 133-year-old Statue of Liberty. Kevadiya and Gujarat are on the world tourism map because of the Statue of Unity. I am told over 23 lakh tourists from India and across the world have visited this place in the last 11 months”. The Statue of Liberty attracts on average 10,000 tourists every day. But you need to keep in mind that it is 133 years old. On the other hand, Statue of Unity is just 11 months old. Despite that, it is attracting over 8,500 tourists every day. This is a miracle, he said.
The Statue of Unity was opened to the public on October 31, 2018 to mark the birth anniversary of the country’s first home minister.
The Prime Minister lauded the vision of Sardar Patel, adding that the government’s decision last month on Jammu and Kashmir was an inspiration from the former home minister of India. And the decision to bifurcate the state into two union territories are inspired by Sardar Patel and is an attempt to find solution to a decades-old problem. PM said that he is confident of bringing prosperity and trust to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakhwith the active support of millions of colleagues.
The Prime Minister said, “Your servant is fully committed to the unity and superiority of India. We have strengthened this commitment over the last 100 days, and the new government will work faster than before, will achieve bigger goals than before”.