Dam Safety Bill, 2018: All You Need to Know (Important) (Download PDF)

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Recently Union Cabinet approved proposal for introduction of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in Parliament. Draft bill was finalized after wide consultation w/leading Indian experts & international experts. Here we will discuss all the relevant details.

Image of panel to advise on regulations

Image of Panel to Advise on Regulations

Image of panel to advise on regulations

Why is Bill Important?

  • Bill will enable all states & UTs of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures that will ensure safety of dams & will safeguard their benefits.
  • Uniformity will help in protecting human life, livestock & property.

Key Features of Bill

  • Bill will provide for proper surveillance, inspection, operation & maintenance of all specified dams in country to ensure their safe functioning.

  • It will provide for constitution of National Committee on Dam Safety that will evolve dam safety policies & recommend necessary regulations as required for purpose.

  • It will provide for constitution of State Committee on Dam Safety by state govt.

  • It will enable establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as regulatory body, which will discharge functions to implement policy, guidelines & standards for dam safety in country.

Image of State Committee on Dam Safety by state goverment

Image of State Committee on Dam Safety by State Goverment

Image of State Committee on Dam Safety by state goverment

Significance

  • Bill will address all issues concerning dam safety including regular inspection of dams, emergency action plan, comprehensive dam safety review, adequate repair & maintenance funds for dam safety & instrumentation & safety manuals.

  • Under bill’s provisions, responsibility of ensuring dam safety will lay on dam owner.

  • Bill will provide for penal provisions for commission & omission of certain acts.

National Dam Safety Authority

  • National authority will be required to maintain contact w/state dam safety organisations & owners of dams for standardization of dam safety-related data & practices.

  • It will provide technical & managerial assistance to states & state dam safety organizations.

  • It will help maintain national level database of all dams in country & records of major dam failures.

  • It will be required to examine cause of any major dam failure.

  • Authority will publish & update standard guidelines & check-lists for routine inspection & detailed investigations of dams & appurtenances.

  • It will accord recognition or accreditations to organisations that can be entrusted w/works of investigation, design or construction of new dams.

  • It will look into unresolved points of issue b/w state dam safety organisation of 2 states, or b/w state dam safety organisation of state & owner of dam in that state, for proper solution.

  • In cases where dams of one state fall under territory of another state, national authority will perform role of state dam safety organisation thereby eliminating potential causes for inter-state conflicts.

State Committee on Dam Safety

  • Committee will ensure proper surveillance, inspection, operation & maintenance of all specified dams in that state & ensure their safe functioning.

  • It provides that every state should establish ‘State Dam Safety Organisation”, which will be manned by officers from field of dam safety, preferably from areas of dam-designs, hydro-mechanical engineering, hydrology, geo-technical investigation, instrumentation & dam-rehabilitation.

Background

  • There are over 5200 large dams & thousands of medium & small dams in India. Some 450 more are under construction currently.

  • Due to lack of legal & institutional architecture for dam safety in India, dam safety is issue of concern.

  • Unsafe dams are potential hazards, as dam break may cause huge disaster, leading to massive loss of life & property.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 19, 2018

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