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On 13th June 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal for enactment of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Parliament.

The Dam Safety Bill, 2018 shall examine the cause of any major dam failure. It has been promulgated to address issues concerning dam safety such as regular inspection of dams, emergency action plan, comprehensive dam safety review, adequate repair and maintenance funds for dam safety and safety manuals for existing and new dams in the country.

National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) will act as a regulatory body which shall be operative to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country and create database of existing dams as proposed in the Bill.

The NDSA will investigate dam failures and have the authority to fine the States if found negligent in implementing safety procedures.

The Bill comprises of uniform measures to ensure safety of dams adopted which will be adopted by all States and Union Territories. The purpose of the Bill is also to help in eliminating potential risk of floods during heavy rainfall that causes major disaster to environment. Therefore, it will also help in safeguarding human life, animal and property from floods.

The Bill will also provide constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose.

The Dam Safety Bill lays onus of dam safety on the dam owner and includes penal provisions for commission and omission of certain acts.

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

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