parties have criticised the Dam Safety Bill, 2019. They have opined that the
bill would undermine the powers of State governments since Water is a State
subject. The Dam Safety Bill aims to put uniform safety measures for dams
Bill provides for the constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety. Functions
of the Committee include: a) formulating policies and regulations regarding dam
safety standards and prevention of dam failures, and b) analysing causes of
major dam failures and suggesting changes in dam safety practices.
Bill also provides for establishing a National Dam Safety Authority as a
regulatory body to implement the policy. The bill also provides for
establishing State Dam safety Organizations (SDSO).
of the SDSOs include: a) keeping perpetual surveillance, inspecting, and
monitoring the operation and maintenance of dams, b) keeping a database of all
dams, and c) recommending safety measures to owners of dams.
Bill lays the onus of the dam safety on the dam owner and requires the owners
of specified dams to provide a dam safety unit in each dam.
Bill provides penalties for commission and omission of certain acts. Offenders
will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year or a fine, or both.
per National Register for Large Dams (NRLD), there are 5,254 large dams in
operation and another 447 under-construction. Further there are numerous small
and medium dams.
structural and operational safety of these dams is crucial because about 75% of
large dams are more than 25 years old and about 164 dams are more than 100