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Let dam committee continue for a year

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 06, Apr 2022
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  1. The Centre suggested to the Supreme Court to let the Mullaperiyar dam supervisory committee continue for a year, by which time the National Dam Safety Authority under the new Dam Safety Act will become fully functional.
  2. “During the period of one year, when the National Dam Safety Authority becomes fully functional, the Supervisory Committee on Mullaperiyar Dam may continue its functioning as per the existing mandate in regulating the operations of the dam,” a note submitted by the Centre, represented by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, said.
  3. The Centre suggested that the Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Kerala be made accountable in order to ensure that the decisions of the supervisory committee on the maintenance and safety of the dam are duly complied with by the two States. “To address the technical concerns of both the States, their Chief Secretaries may be requested to nominate technical experts to attend the meetings conducted by the supervisory committee,” the Centre recommended.
  4. Once the National Dam Safety Authority is fully functional, the functions of the supervisory committee would be taken over by the authority and the committee could be dissolved.

National Dam Safety Authority:

  • Water is under the state list, but the Union government has made Dam safety law under Article 246 of the ConstitutionArticle 246 empowers Parliament to legislate on matters listed in the state list under certain conditions.
  • The Dam Safety Act, passed by Parliament, provides an institutional mechanism for ensuring dam safety in India.
  • The Act established a National Dam Safety Authority to maintain standards related to dam safety, prevent dam-related disasters and address inter-State concerns related to dams.
  • The National Dam Safety Authority will be headed by a chairman and assisted by five members having working experience in: Policy and research, technical, regulation, disaster and resilience and administration and finance.
  • Special Provisions for Surveillance, Inspection, Operation and Maintenance of all large dams of the Country to Prevent Dam Failure Related Disasters.
  • The act also has penal provisions, list of offenses and penalties, for ensuring compliance of the Act.
  • The Headquarters of the authority will be in the national capital region and will be supported by four regional offices.