DAM SAFETY ACT,2021
- Recently a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in North Sikkim’s South Lhonak Lake washed away one of the biggest hydropower projects in India.
ABOUT DAM SAFETY ACT , 2021:
- An Act to provide for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure related disasters.
- It aims to provide for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:
- Provisions require States to classify dams based on hazard risk, conduct regular inspections, create emergency action plans, institute emergency flood warning systems, and undertake safety reviews and period risk assessment studies.
- The Act listed key responsibilities and mandated that national and State-level bodies be established for implementation.
- It said a National Committee on Dam Safety would oversee dam safety policies and regulations.
- A National Dam Safety Authority would be charged with implementation and resolving State-level disputes.
- The Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC) would head dam safety protocols at the national level.
- A State Committee on Dam Safety (SCDS) and State Dam Safety Organisation (SDSO) would be set up.
- Sikkim formed an SCDS with nine members and experts in hydrology and dam design.
CONCERNS REGARDING DAM SAFETY:
Dam safety is a function of many parts:
- Designing and constructing dams that adhere to safety margins, maintaining and operating them per guidelines,
- Recording data in real-time in an accessible format,
- Forecasting hazardous events and instituting emergency plans, to name a few.
- The Sikkim GLOF reveals poor compliance at all levels, from the dam’s design to the spillway capacity.
Syllabus: Prelims; POLITY & GOVERNANCE