Cabinet approves Dam Safety Bill, 2018

The Central Government on June 13, 2018 approved the proposal for introduction of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Parliament. The bill after enactment will help all the States and Union Territories of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures which shall ensure the safety of dams and safeguard benefits from such dams. This shall also help in safeguarding human life, livestock, and property. The draft Bill has been finalized after wide consultation with leading Indian experts and international experts.

The Bill provides for the 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. The Bill provides for constitution of a State Committee on Dam Safety by State Government.

The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning. The Bill provides for constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose.

There are over 5200 large dams in India and about 450 are under construction. Plus there are thousands of medium and small dams. The Dam Safety Bill, 2018 address all issues concerning dam safety including regular inspection of dams, Emergency Action Plan, comprehensive dam safety review, adequate repair and maintenance funds for dam safety, Due to lack of legal and institutional architecture for dam safety in India, dam safety is an issue of concern. Unsafe dams are a hazard and dam break may cause disasters, leading to huge loss of life and property.

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