The Central Government is concerned about the safety of the old dams in the country. However, age of the dam is not the only factor to judge a dam’s stability or possibility of structural failure. These superstructures have a valid lifespan as long as they are technically safe and operational.
Further, responsibility for ensuring safety of dams, including its operation and maintenance, rests primarily with the dam owners; which are mostly the State Governments and Central/State Public Sector Units. Details regarding dam safety assessment, maintenance, repair and renovations are available with the concerned dam owners. Further, generally dam owners themselves carry out the safety audit of their dams, in terms of periodical pre-monsoon and post-monsoon inspection.
Union Government has enacted the Dam Safety Act (DSA) 2021 with the intent to provide surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all the specified dams of the country for prevention of dam failure related disasters and to provide for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning. Pursuant to the provisions of the DSA-2021, the newly constituted 29 State Dam Safety Organisations have conducted pre-monsoon and post-monsoon inspections of the dams falling within their respective jurisdiction through their dam safety units.
Govt. of India has implemented the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with external funding for improving their safety and operational performances. Under the World Bank funded DRIP Phase-I programme, implemented during April 2012 to March 2021; 223 dams located in 7 States and prioritized by them for taking these dams under this program; have been comprehensively audited and rehabilitated. Out of these 223 dams, 2 dams are older than 100 years. Phase II of this project is under implementation at present.
As per the National Register of Large Dams (2019 edition) compiled by the Central Water Commission based on the information provided by the project/dam authorities, there are 227 functional large dams which are more than 100 years old (constructed in or before 1921). State-wise numbers of these dams is enclosed as Annexure.
‘Water’ being a State subject, construction, operation and maintenance of water resources projects including check dams (which is primarily a soil conservation and water recharging small structure) are primarily States’ responsibilities. The information related to check dams, their functionality and their upkeep etc. lies with the respective State Governments.
This Information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
State wise list of 100 years Old Dams as per National Register of Large Dams (NRLD) 2019
|S.N.||State/UT||No. of large dams more than 100 years old (constructed in or before 1921)|
|1.||Adman and Nicobar||–|
|11.||Jammu and Kashmir||0|