Dam Safety Bill

The Dam Safety Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha. The bill aims to inspect, survey, maintain and operate dams in the country. Because mos t of the dams are more than 100 years old.

Key Features

  • The bill constitutes two national bodies. They are National Committee on Dam Safety and National Dam Safety Authority.
  • The National Committee on Dam Safety will evolve policies and recommend regulations related to dam safety.
  • The National Dam Safety Authority implements the policies framed by the National committee. Also, it will provide technical assistance to the State Dam Safety Organisations.
  • The bill will also constitute two state bodies. They are State Committee on Dam Safety and State Dam Safety Authority. The functions of these committees and authorities are restricted at state level and are similar to that of the national committees and authorities.

Constitutional validity

  • According to Entry 17 of State List, the states are eligible to make laws on irrigation, water supply, canals, embankments, drainage, water power and water storage.
  • According to Entry 56 of the Union List, the Parliament is allowed to make laws on regulation of river valleys and inter state rivers.
  • Article 252 allows the Parliament to make laws on subjects in State list if two or more states pass resolution requiring a law. In this issue, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have passed resolution asking for a law on dam safety.

Functions of the bodies in the bill

The functions of National Dam Safety Authority and National Committee on Dam Safety are as follows;

  • To resolve issues between State Dam Safety Organisations
  • To assess the potential impact of dam failure
  • To supervise dam rehabilitation programmes

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