DAM SAFETY BILL -2019
A SHORT GLIMPSE
Recently, the Rajya Sabha passed the dam safety bill in -2019. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in August 2019. The billing process of the National Committee on Dam Safety and the National dam safety authority will form policies and recommend regulations to the National Dam Safety Authority.
LAW ON DAM SAFETY:
India, besides USA & China, has the 3RD highest number of dams in the world. According to 2019 data available with the National Register of LargeDams, there are currently 5,745 large dams in India, of which 293 are over 100 years old. • According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the aging of dam assets warrants serious concern on their safety aspects in terms of meeting prevalent norms. Aging dams may also serve as a cause of concern for people living in the areas nearby. Since 1947, 40 dams have collapsed in India. One of the worst disasters took place in Gujarat in 1979 when the Machhu Dam (Gujarat) collapsed resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. . In the absence of a Central law, however, the safety regulations vary from state to state.
DAM SAFETY BILL-2019:
The Bill applies to all specified dams in the country.. These are dams with: (i) height more than 15 meters, or (ii) height between 10 to 15 meters, subject to certain design and structural conditions.
The obligation of Dam Owners:
Dam owners will be responsible for the safe construction, operation, maintenance, and supervision of a dam. • They must provide a dam safety unit in each dam.
Dam Safety Authorities:
There will be four layers of monitoring – two at the central level and two at the state level – to ensure dam safety. A National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) will be set up at the central level, which will be headed by the CWC chairman. • The National Dam Safety Authority will implement the policies advised to it by the NCDs. At the State level, State Committee on Dam Safety and State Dam Safety Authority will be constituted.
Offenses and Penalties:
Anyone obstructing a person in the discharge of his functions under the Bill or refusing to comply with directions may be imprisoned for a year. In case of loss of life, the person may be imprisoned for two years.
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