New Delhi, 16th June 2022: “Maharashtra has a total of 40% of large dams of the country, which amounts to 2400 dams. These dams need to be safeguarded along with improving the life of each dam, a program under Dam Security Act -2021 should be chalked out to remove silt and an effective mechanism should be evolved for the saline areas” were some of the significant issues raised by the Water Resources Minister, Jayant Patil, today.
Patil was speaking in the one day national workshop on Dam Safety Act, 2021 organized by the Central Water Commission under the aegis of the Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre. Present during this meeting were the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ministers of State, Chairman of Central Water Commission, R.K.Gupta, Secretary of Jal Shakti, Pankaj Kumar along with water resources Ministers from various States.
The second session was organized for all the State Ministers to deliberate on Dam Safety and express their concerns.
Patil, in his address said that, in India, out of total 5334 existing large dams, 40% dams are in Maharashtra, which amounts to 2400 dams. Because of this Dam Safety Act, the safety of the dams needs to be taken up at an accelerated pace. The silt needs to be removed from these dams and this significant issue should be studied thoroughly and guidance in this regard is needed from the GoI. He also informed that it is very essential to improve the life of the dams. The Critical dams’ safety concerns have to be addressed. He suggested for the expedition of this program, silt should be removed and a mechanism be evolved for this.
Adding further, he said, for the saline lands which are on the down streams in the command area of the dams, the old program before 2014 should be initiated again, in which the Government of India contributed up to 60%, the State governments contributed 30% and the farmers contributed up to 10%. Which would help in reactivating the command area and in some saline areas which are lying dead, expressed the Minister.
Informing further, he apprised about the pre and Post Monsoon inspection of large dams having more than 15 m height, which is regularly carried out by State field authorities and Test inspection carried out by Dam Security Organisation (DSO).
The Workshop was attended by the Ministers, Policymakers, Senior functionaries, Technocrats of MoJS, Central, State and UT Governments, CWC, Academicians, PSUs, private sector and dam owners, all associated with the issue of dams, dam safety governance. The workshop was aimed at sensitizing all stakeholders about the provisions of the Dam Safety Act, 2021 and to brainstorm on dam safety governance in India.