India is one of the few nations having large dams but it did not have dam safety legislation for over 70 years!
All this is now set to change as Rajya Sabha passes the Dam Safety Bill, 2019.
India is the third largest dam owning country. There are 5,745 reservoirs in the country of which 293 are more than 100 years old. There are a number of challenges to the dam safety and some are mainly due to the age of the dams. As the dams become old, their design, hydrology and everything else do not remain at par with the latest understanding and practices. Huge siltation is taking place as a result of which the water holding capacity of dams is getting reduced.
The Bill will lead to the establishment of the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) and the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA). The NCDS, with expert representations from both Central and State agencies, will evolve unified dam safety policies and protocols for the entire country. The NDSA will act as a regulatory body for ensuring the implementation of policy, guidelines and standards evolved by the NCDS. The focus of the two national institutions will be thus mostly on such dam safety issues that are generic in nature and of nationwide relevance.
Courtesy : The Hindu