The World Bank recently approved 250 million USD to improve performance of existing dams in India and to improve their safety. The funds have been allocated to the DRIP-2, the second Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project. The allocated funds are to be utilised to strengthen 120 dams in the country.

What is DRIP?

DRIP is Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project. It is being implemented with the loan assistance from the World Bank. The project was initially launched in seven states namely Karnataka, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu. It was launched in 2012.

The Project consists of three main components as follows

  • Rehabilitation and Improvement of Dams and associated appurtenances
  • Dam Safety Institutional Strengthening
  • Project Management

Under the project, new technologies of dam safety evaluation are promoted.

Why is Dam Safety the need of hour?

Around 80% of the large dams in India are twenty-five years old. Around 209 dams are 100 years old. These dams were built in an era when design practices and safety considerations were much below the safety norms. Thus, several dams are facing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring operational efficiency and structural safety.

DRIP-II Project

Under DRIP-II, the safety of the dams is to be improved. Also, operational performance of selected dams is to be enhanced. The project is to be implemented for ten years between 2020 and 2030. The project is to be supervised by Central Water Commission. The total budget outlay of the project is 1.5 billion USD. Of this, the World Bank is to fund one billion USD.

The other important measures included under DRIP-2 are as follows

  • Flood Forecasting System
  • Integrated Reservoir Operations that will help to build climate resilience
  • Prepare and implement Emergency Action Plans
  • Piloting supplemental revenue generation schemes such as floating solar panels.


India ranks third globally in dam operation after China and USA. There are 5,334 large dams in the country and around 411 are under construction. The total storage capacities of these dams is 283 billion cubic metres.


  • The six-year project was funded by the World Bank at a cost of Rs 2100 cr. Later in 2018, the Government revised the cost to Rs 3466 crores along with 2-year extension. 223 dam projects were originally selected to be developed under the scheme, which was also increased to 257.
  • In October 2020, the Phase II and Phase III of DRIP project to improve the safety and operational performance of selected 736 dams.
  • The project, worth Rs 10,211 crore, is being implemented from 2020-2030, with the financial assistance of the World Bank (WB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).




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