International Dam Safety conference 2019 successfully kicks off today

Top Quote DRIP outlay for Phase-1 increased to Rs. 3466 crore and duration extended by 2 years; Rs. 600 crore for construction of additional spillway for Hirakud dam End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 14, 2019 - The International Dam Safety Conference-2019 was inaugurated by Shri Niranjan Pujari, Hon’ble Minister for Water Resources, Govt. of Odisha with U.P Singh, Secretary, Ministry of water resources river development & Ganga rejuvenation, Govt. of India as Guest of Honor. This Conference, the fifth in the series of Dam Safety Conferences, being held in Bhubaneswar, is a joint initiative of the Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank under aegis of the ongoing World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). Dam Safety Conferences are being organized as an annual event in different DRIP States in collaboration with the Implementing Agencies and leading academic institutes to provide a common platform for all stakeholders including non-DRIP States.

    Shri Niranjan Pujari in his remarks, said that about 80% of our large dams are over 25 years old. About 209 dams are over 100 years old and were built in an era when design practices and safety considerations were much below the current design and safety norms. Several of these dams are experiencing distress and need attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency. He pointed out that like body needs routine check-up, same is true of dams.

    In his remarks, Union Water Resources secretary UP Singh, said, efforts are on for automatic functioning of Hirakud, which is one of the longest earthen dams in the world. The Centre has also decided to increase the water retaining capacity of the dam from the existing 15 lakh to 24 lakh cusecs.”

    Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) had been taking various initiatives since late ‘70s such as establishment of Dam Safety Organisations in the CWC and States. In the 1990s a World Bank assisted DSRP project was launched to rehabilitate 183 distressed dams. In 2012 The Ministry initiated the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with a duration of 6 years and financial outlay of Rs. 2100 crores. Presently, DRIP covers rehabilitation of 198 large dam projects located in seven States namely Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand. Government has revised this financial outlay to 3466 crores and extended the duration by two years to complete the ongoing Project activities. In addition to rehabilitation of selected dams, DRIP also involves Institutional Strengthening and Project Management in the ten Implementing Agencies as well as nine academic institutions primarily aimed at sustained dam safety management. In Odisha, 26 large dams are covered under DRIP for rehabilitation including construction of an additional spill way for the Hirakud dam to address the hydrological safety at about Rs. 600 Crore.

    Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA), a software tool for asset management has been developed to capture authentic data pertaining to all large dams to act as information repository. It covers the monitoring and health information to regularly review the safety aspects of any dam. This tool has the appropriate access to policy makers, project managers, and dam managers to review the information and take appropriate action. Government of India is striving to address the issue of dam safety in a comprehensive way for a quite a long time. In this context, Union Cabinet approved the Dam Safety Bill in June 2018 and this Bill was introduced in Parliament in December 2018.

    Considering the success of the ongoing DRIP, Government of India proposed Phase-II and Phase-III of DRIP with a financial outlay of over 10,221.0 Crores to rehabilitate around 700 dams. The new Project is proposed to be a State Sector Scheme with 10-year duration, with each proposed Phase of six years duration with two years overlapping. The government of India has given in-principle approval to this Project and very shortly is going to pose to World Bank for funding. This Project has wide spatial coverage; having 18 States and two Central Agencies, and covering about 13% of large dams of India. In addition to three components of ongoing Scheme, it has additional Component i.e. Revenue Generation through incidental i.e. tourism, fisheries, solar and hydel power, water recreations etc. The basic objective of these annual events is to give exposure to non-DRIP States as well as other stakeholders across the Country and World, to the best global practices and technological advancements to address the emerging dam safety challenges.

    Over 725 delegates comprising dam owners, policy makers, and dam professionals, Scientists, academia etc. took part in the Conference. About 100 overseas experts from 30 Countries representing all the major continents of the world participating in the Conference. Moreover During this Conference, 3 important national guidelines, 16 Emergency Action Plans, and 5 Operation and Maintenance Manuals was released. 35 national and international organizations both from within the country and abroad are showcasing their technologies, products and services in the exhibition during the Conference, reflecting the contemporary developments in the dam safety field.

    For media queries alone contact Sonam Motreja of PRHUB @ sonamm ( @ ) prhub dot com/9945017180 and Soubhagya deo @ soubhagyadeo ( @ ) gmail dot com /9437275007.

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