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India’s first Dam Safety Law Bill 2021

India’s first Dam Safety Law Bill 2021

India’s first Dam Safety Law Bill 2021

Finally, the much-awaited and dam safety law has been enacted. The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya Sabha on 2nd December. The Lok Sabha had passed it on August 2, 2019.

Finally, the much-awaited and dam safety law has been enacted. The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya Sabha on 2nd December. The Lok Sabha had passed it on August 2, 2019.

Several opposition members in both houses demanded that the bill be referred to the Standing Committee. But the government rejected that demand. The Bill is based on the report of the Standing Parliamentary Committee on the Bill of 2010.

India’s first Dam Safety Law

Most of the recommendations of the Water Resources Committee (7th Report, 15th Lok Sabha) have been incorporated in the new Dam Safety Bill.

The Dam Safety Bill, 2010 was introduced in the 15th Lok Sabha on 30 August 2010, which was referred to the Committee on Water Resources for examination.

After thorough investigation and deliberation, the committee submitted its report to the Parliament in August 2011.

Dams are important infrastructure, built for uses such as irrigation, power generation, flood control, and the supply of drinking water and industrial products.

Unsafe dams are a threat to human life and property. The Committee found several serious loopholes in the Bill.

As such, it lacked punitive provision, critical terminology was not defined, accidental damage was excluded from the purview of dam safety, provision for the structure of dam safety organization, dam break by natural or human error.

There was no provision for damages etc. All these recommendations have been incorporated into the new law.

The Central Government, in 1982, constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Chairman, Central Water Commission, to review the existing arrangements for the safety of dams and to evolve an integrated process.

In its report, it recommended an integrated dam safety process for all dams underlining the need for legislation on dam safety. Accordingly, Bihar enacted the Dam Safety Act, 2006, then Kerala amended its Irrigation Act.

While some states required a central law for dam safety.

India’s first Dam Safety Law

Accordingly, the Central Government introduced the Dam Safety Bill, 2010 in the Lok Sabha, which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources.

The Ministry of Water Resources withdrew the Bill and introduced a new Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the 16th Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the Committee to comprehensively amend the Bill.

But that bill lapsed as soon as the 16th Lok Sabha was dissolved. The government introduced the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, which has been passed by the Rajya Sabha in the current session.

The Dam Safety Act, 2019 provides for the constitution of a National Dam Safety Committee to prevent damage due to dam break, to formulate standards for dam safety, to develop dam safety policies and to make necessary rules related to dam safety.

India’s first Dam Safety Law

Under the new law, a National Dam Safety Authority will be established and it will be the responsibility of the dam owner to carry out dam safety and maintenance, before and after the monsoon, National Dam Safety Committee risk assessment and dam risk assessment after earthquake and dam accident. Do repair work.

The law places the responsibility of overseeing the operation and maintenance of dams on the respective states.

The National Dam Safety Authority has to present annual reports in the Parliament and the State Disaster Management Authority in the Legislative Assembly.

India’s first Dam Safety Law

There are 5,745 major dams in the country, out of which 393 dams are more than 100 years old, while more than 25 per cent of the dams are 50 years old.

Dam accidents can cause huge damage not only in the lower part of the dam but also in the upper part. Therefore, Parliament, exercising its legislative power, has removed a major statutory shortcoming by enacting a dam safety law in the national interest.

Navya Chandravanshi

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AUTHORNishant Chandravanshi

Nishant Chandravanshi is the founder of The Magadha Times & Chandravanshi. Nishant Chandravanshi is Youtuber, Social Activist & Political Commentator.

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