India has almost 6,000 large dams, and about 80% of them are more than 25 years old.carry safety risks. A new Dam Safety Act (DSA) was passed in late 2021. On October 4, 2023,

A glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in North Sikkim’s South Lhonak Lake washed away one of the biggest hydropower project in India, the Teesta III dam at Chungthang. Reports have since
revealed there were no early warning systems, no risk assessment, or preventive measures in
place as required under the Act.

The Union Government has enacted the Dam Safety Act (DSA) 2021 for proper surveillance.
inspection, operation, and maintenance of the specified dams. The said Act has been notified by
the Government of India on December 14, 2021, and has come into effect on December 30, 2021.

The Act aims to prevent dam failure-related disasters and provides for institutional mechanisms to ensure their safe functioning.

Dam Safety Act, 2021

  • The Act has provisions for setting up an empowered institutional framework for safety both at the central and state levels.
  • At the national level, the Central Government has constituted the National Committee on Dam Safety, which discharges functions to prevent dam failure related disasters, maintain standards of dam safety, and evolve dam safety policies. and recommend necessary regulations.
  • Further, the Central Government has also established the National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body for ensuring the nationwide implementation of dam safety policies and standards.
  • At the state level, the Act provides for the constitution of the State Committee on Dams
    Safety (SCDS) and the establishment of the State Dam Safety Organization (SDSO) to
    ensure proper surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of all specified dams.
    in that state, and also to ensure their safe functioning.
  • In compliance with the provisions of the Dam Safety Act, all 28 states and three unions
    Territories having specified dams have constituted or established the SCDSs and SDSOs.
  • As per the Dam Safety Act 2021, all the specified dams are required to be
    inspected twice a year during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods. States
    have also constituted the Dam Safety Review Panel (DSRP) for comprehensive
    audit of their dams.

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)

  • In order to improve the safety and operational performance of select existing dams
    In the country, the Government of India is implementing the Dam Rehabilitation and
    Improvement Project (DRIP)
    with external funding
  • Under the World Bank-funded DRIP Phase-I scheme, which was implemented during From April 2012 to March 2021, 223 existing dams located in 7 states were comprehensively audited and rehabilitated at a cost of Rs. 2,567 crore.
  • After completion of the DRIP Phase-I Scheme, the Government of India has taken up DRIP. Phase-II and III schemes envisaging rehabilitation and safety improvement of 736 dams located in 19 states, with a budget outlay of Rs. 10,211 crore. The scheme is 10
    years duration, being implemented in two phases, each of 6 years duration with 2 years
    of overlap.
  • Phase II of DRIP has been declared effective by the World Bank in October 2021.
    and is being co-financed by the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure and
    Investment Bank.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *