After 40 years of the holdup, Rajya Sabha passes the Bill on Dam Safety.
This is one of the first legislation to be passed this week after four hours of discussion as the Upper House has witnessed vociferous protests and disruption from the opposition over the suspension of 12 members.
Ministry of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the Dam Safety Bill has been in making for the last 40 years after CWC(committee on Dam Safety 1986) procedure for all dams and suggested a legislative framework for dam safety.
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in August 2010 but it has faced a series of back and forths since then. The opposition said it will encroach on States' rights.
Standing Committee recommends several changes.it went into proverbial cold storage and was introduced as a modified Bill.
Finally, the Lower House has introduced afresh in 2019. it was passed in Lok Sabha and now in Rajya Sabha as well.
The bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of specified dams for the prevention of disasters caused by dams failure and the creation of an institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning.
India might rank third in the world, after the US and China, when it comes to having large dams but the country has not had a dam safety legislation for over 70 years now.
The leaders from RJD, MDMK, TDP, TMC opposed the Bill on the ground that it will put water and dam management under the centre's control. Many opposition MPs also demanded that the bill be sent to the selected committee for further scrutiny.