An early morning it was than usual. There were news that the 6.82 million cubic metres concrete filled ‘object’ was overflowing! You could make about 3 Eiffel Towers sleep in a row to be as long as this concrete ‘object’! It did come as a refreshing and pleasant surprise after all that hard work the AVM Bhoolkus had put in for their CMTs. Even at such a short notice, Fuvaji and Hareshbhai arranged for the permissions and the transport for the entire school to visit the place. Thus begun the journey to the much talked about, very promising, very educative, third highest concrete dam of India – the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
The 8 luxury buses and a supply tempo altogether accommodating 380 students, 20 teachers, the entire hostel staff and cafeteria staff made their first stop at the Gumandev Hanumanji Mandir. After having darshan in the mandir, the entire troupe had their breakfast in the spacious compound of the temple. There was a lot of excitement in the students as they boarded their respective buses for the onwards journey to Kevadia Colony. Parambhai, Fuvaji’s secretary was busy arranging for the school’s visit at the dam taking care of the formal procedures with help from Shri Maheshbhai Thakkar, our Ambrish devotee involved with the project.
Upon arrival at the reception site, students of Classes 1 to 6 were taken to Dam View Point 1 where there was a breath-taking view of the entire 1.2 km dam structure. They were accompanied by teachers, didis and an expert guide to enlighten them about this engineering marvel of India. Due to heavy rains in the Madhya Pradesh area, the accumulated water was overflowing from the dam reservoir. It was truly a unique opportunity to see such an action. The roaring sound of the overflowing water could be heard quite distinctly at the view point which was almost 1 km away from the dam! They were then taken to the Dam View Point 1 which provides a very close view of the dam and the river bed power house. (Visit http://www.sardarsarovardam.org/tourism/visit_places.htm for the chief places to visit at this project site)
Meanwhile, students of Classes 7, 8, 9 and 10 visited the Model Room and Interpretation Centre which had a model of the dam besides detailed information about the entire project right since its inception. The students keenly studied the model of the entire project, model of the dam, all the pictures and the statistical data about the project. They gained appreciation of the social and environmental implications of dams and got chance to look into the functioning of government projects of such a massive scale. Some inquisitive minds proactively asked questions to gain further understanding of the project and many even took pictures of the exhibition. The seniors then made their way to Dam View Point 1 to witness the grandeur of the dam. They had discussion about the mind-boggling statistics of the dam. (Visit http://www.sardarsarovardam.org/dam_reservoir.htm# for a few surprises yourself!)
Due to security related restrictions, only Classes 8, 9 and 10 students were able to visit the River Bed Power House generation section. The expert guide revealed some startling facts about the site.
- Each of the 6 turbines in the power house weight 690 metric tonnes!
- The mountain was drilled to make space of 214 m length, 23 m width and 76 m depth to accommodate the turbines!
- The electricity generated there was transmitted to the switch yard using big thick stainless steel plates!
- 1200 MW power generated could provide electricity to about 75 lakh (7.5 million) families!
The students took keen interest in learning the facts and understanding how the entire process worked. It turned out to be a highly educative and thought-provoking visit via the long tunnel to this wonder world created inside a mountain!
All the students then visited Dam View Point 3 which gave a very close view of the dam and the power house. The journey to the starting point was equally exciting despite the hot sun and the empty stomachs. The visitors came across beautiful natural landscapes and artificial lakes along the way. Freshly prepared hot lunch awaited the hungry young enthusiasts at the Jalaram Eye Hospital, just a few kilometres away from the Dam Reception Site.
After the lunch, the next stop was at the Rajpipla Palace Resort where the students saw a small exhibition of various items used by the royal family there. After relaxing for some while in the lawns outside the resort, in the evening, the buses headed back to Ankleshwar where an AVM Bhoolku’s parents had arranged for dinner for the entire school.
Undoubtedly, it had been an exciting as well as a tiring day for all. The house masters, didis and the accompanying teachers did a commendable job guiding the students and being with them all the time. Finally, the journey back to our alma mater begun and before late all arrived safe and sound to another marvel of the world – the Atmiya Vidya Mandir.