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The Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), the largest and most expensive river valley project ever initiated in India, is often described by its proponents as Gujarat's lifeline. It was the late Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel who conceived the idea of constructing a dam over the river Narmada in 1946-47 for the optimum use of Narmada waters for the welfare of the Nation. Today The Sardar Sarovar Project is one of the largest water resources project of India covering four major states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat 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.