Cabinet nod to programme for maintaining, improving 736 dams

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)

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Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)

In News:

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Phase II and Phase III of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) to improve the safety and operational performance of 736 dams in 19 states.
  • The project is focused on reducing the risks of dam failure and ensuring safety of people, riverine ecology and property located downstream of these selected dams.

Status of dams in India

  • In terms of large dams, India ranks third globally after China and the United States of America, with 5334 large dams in operation. There are also several thousand smaller dams.
  • Indian dams and reservoirs play an important role in the economic and agricultural growth of the country by storing approximately 300 billion cubic meter of water annually.
  • However, 80% of the existing dams are more than 25 years old, with some dams that are 100-year-old. These dams require maintenance and capacity building, as they were built using older technology.
  • The consequences of dam failure can be very dangerous, in terms of loss of human life and property, and damage to ecology. 

About: Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)

Phase I of DRIP:
  • The first phase of the programme, which ended in 2020, was launched in 2012, under which 223 dams in seven states were included.
  • It helped in addressing the structural measures to improve safety, seepage reduction, structural stability
  • Apart from this, non-structural measures such as emergency action plans, operation and maintenance manuals, early warning system and various other measures were put in place for the selected dams.
  • In addition, DHARMA (Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring), a system to monitor the health of dams, has been developed and is, at present, being used by 18 states.
  • A seismic hazard analysis information system (SHAISYS) has also been developed under the first Phase. Seismic hazard analysis involves the estimation of ground shaking hazards at a particular area.
Objectives of Phase II and III:
  • Rehabilitate and improve the safety and performance of selected dams in a sustainable manner.
  • Strengthen the dam safety institutional set-up in participating states as well as at central level
  • Explore alternative means to generate the revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams.
Details of Phase II and III:
  • The project will be implemented over a period of 10 years in two phases — each of six years duration with two years overlapping from April 2021 to March 2031.
  • In addition to physical rehabilitation, equal emphasis will be given to capacity building of dam owners in order to ensure availability of trained and skilled manpower for better operation of dams.
  • 4% of the total cost of the project, will be spent for building tourism-based activities, including water tourism at the existing dams.
  • The overall cost of the project is Rs 10,211 crore and it will receive financial assistance from the World Bank (WB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • The Union government will facilitate access to external financing, and also provide technical support to assess risk and strengthen dam safety in the state.
Benefits:
  • The programme will enhance water security in the country, and support sustainable development.
  • Extending the life of these dams, will lead to benefits such as irrigation, hydel power, flood control etc. for a longer period.
  • It is likely to generate employment opportunities equivalent to approximately 10,00,000 person days for unskilled workers, and 2,50,000 person days for working professionals.
  • The programme will enable states and dam owners to extend these safety protocols and activities beyond the selected dams to all other dams within their jurisdiction.
  • Thus, the programme will eventually strengthen the overall culture of dam safety in the country.

Also Read: Cabinet nod for World Bank aided STARS project, National Assessment centre

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