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Dam Safety Bill

Mains -GS3- Disaster Management

1. The Centre had introduced the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 in Parliament after it was cleared by the Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

2. It aims to put in place a systematic procedure to ensure that India’s 5,600 dams are made and maintained safely.

3. Various editions of the Bill have been introduced since 2010 but it has never been successfully passed, largely due to opposition by States at various times.

4. Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have opposed the Bill on the grounds that it encroaches upon the sovereignty of States to manage their dams.

Highlights of the bill

1. The Bill lays the onus of the dam safety on the dam owner and provides for penal provisions for wilful “commission and omission of certain acts.”

2. The Bill also provides for the establishment of a National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body to implement the policy.

3. Every state shall establish a ‘State Dam Safety Organisation’ which will be manned by officers from the field dam safety.

4. The CCEA also approved the ₹1,600-crore pre-investment expenditure for the Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh, India’s largest hydropower project.

Source: The Hindu