Centre mulling national dam safety legislation
New Delhi: With hundreds of dams across the
country being nearly half-a-century old, the Centre on Tuesday said
it was mulling a legislation for their safety.
"A legislation is required to establish an institutional
system to regularly monitor the safety of dams. We are
currently talking to state governments to get their views on
the issue and we could come up with a legislation on dam
safety," Water Resources Secretary U N Panjiyar said here.
He said while some states, including Bihar, have their
own dam safety laws, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have
authorised Parliament to make a law on dam safety.
"As per constitutional provisions, if two or more states
authorise Parliament to make a law on a state subject, the
Centre can pass a law," he said adding that other states can
pass a resolution in their legislatures to adopt the Central
law. Water is a state subject.
With several private players now involved in operating
dams, they would also be covered under the proposed law.
"While the Centre will carry out the overall monitoring,
states will have to set up their institutional system to
ensure dam safety," Panjiyar added.