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National News

Aug 02, 2019

Lok Sabha passes Dam Safety Bill-2019

Lok Sabha has passed the Dam Safety Bill-2019. The bill aims to address all issues concerning safety of dams, including regular inspection, emergency action plan and comprehensive safety review.

It also lays onus of dam safety on the dam owner and provides for penal provisions for commission and omission of certain acts. 

According to the Bill, a national committee on dam safety will be set up to evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations.

It also provides for establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which shall discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country.

Replying to the discussion on the bill, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, the Centre has no intention to take away the rights of the states. 

The bill is only aimed at ensuring safety and maintenance of dams. He said, building dams for producing electricity, preserving water and preventing floods is a historic practice.

Mr Shekhawat said, there will be a common protocol for safety of all the dams in the country. He said, as many as 293 big dams in the country are over 100 years old and protection of dams is the government’s objective. 

He said, the government has also put in place emergency action plan for 180 major dams in the country.

Participating in the discussion, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of congress, suggested that pre and post-monsoon checks in dams should be taken seriously.

 Mahua Moitra of Trinamool Congress said, water is a state subject and the Bill is silent on funds sanctioned from the Centre to the States for dam safety. Member from other party also participated in the discussion.

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