DMPQ-Discuss the major features of Dam safety Act,2021. Mention it’s Need as well

Features of the act

  • The National Committee on Dam Safety will be constituted and will be chaired by the chairperson, Central Water Commission. Functions of the committee will include formulating policies and regulations regarding dam safety standards and prevention of dam failures, analyzing the causes of major dam failures, and suggesting changes in dam safety practices.
  • The act also ideates setting up a National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) to be headed by an officer, not below the rank of an Additional Secretary, to be appointed by the central government.
  • The act also envisages constituting a State Dam Safety Organisation (SDSO) whose functions will be to keep perpetual surveillance, inspection, monitoring the operation and maintenance of dams, keeping a database of all dams, and recommending safety measures to owners of dams.
  • The owners of the specified dams are required to provide a dam safety unit in each dam. This unit will inspect the dams before and after the monsoon session, and during and after any calamity or sign of distress.

Need for the dam safety act

Ageing of Dams

As the dams become old, their design and hydrology do not remain at par with the latest understanding and practices. Huge siltation is taking place as a result of which the water holding capacity of dams is getting reduced.

Dependent on Dam Managers

The regulation of dams is entirely dependent upon individual dam managers. There is no proper system and understanding in terms of the downstream water requirement.

Other factors

Dam safety is dependent upon other factors such as landscape, land-use change, patterns of rainfall, structural features, etc.

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