The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for introduction of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Parliament to adopt uniform safety procedures to ensure safety of reservoirs.
This proposal will help all the States and Union Territories (UT) of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures, which shall ensure safety of dams and safeguard benefits from such dams. This shall also help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property.
The draft Bill has been finalised after wide consultation with leading Indian experts and international experts.
The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning. It also provides for constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose.
The Bill provides for establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which shall discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country. It provides for constitution of a State Committee on Dam Safety by State Government.
There are over 5,200 large dams in India and about 450 are under construction. In addition, there are thousands of medium and small dams. Due to lack of legal and institutional architecture for dam safety in India, dam safety is an issue of concern.
In certain cases, such as dams of one state falling under the territory of another, the authority shall also perform the role of State Dam Safety Organisation thereby eliminating potential causes for inter-state conflicts.
The legislation will address all issues concerning dam safety including regular inspection of dams, emergency action plan, comprehensive dam safety review, and adequate repair and maintenance funds for dam safety, instrumentation and safety manuals.