Uma Bharti bats for immediate resurrection of old, large dams


NEW DELHI: Pitching for immediate resurrection of country’s old and large dams, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti today said when it comes to safety of major reservoirs emphasis must be laid on engineers’ satisfaction than “political satisfaction”.

“The Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is very serious project and under this project, we have to make sure the safety and security of the existing dams.”

“We have to make sure that before going for new constructions for water management in future, all the states should come together and embark on a journey to ensure the sustainability of the dams,” she said.

Speaking at the inauguration of a workshop on ‘Lessons learnt from the ongoing DRIP organized by Water Resources Ministry, Bharti said, “While ensuring and monitoring the safety and security of the dams, everyone has to emphasis on engineers’ satisfaction rather than political satisfaction.”

The one-day workshop was attended by representatives from states, where guidelines for preparation of emergency action plans for dams were released.

“We made big dams, however it is very sad to say that we are not able to utilise these dams 100 per cent. We are not able to repair the damages caused to these dams over the years and, as a result, despite having so much water stored in the dams, we are not able to utilise it,” she said.

Calling for technological shift in ensuring the safety of the dams, Water Resources secretary Shashi Shekhar said, “Since incidents of cloud burst are increasing, we have to link with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to get alerts in advance so that precautionary measures can be taken to avoid any future calamity and people, living under the dams, could be saved.”

DRIP was started in 2012 with an aim to improve the safety and performance of existing dams in the country and strengthen the states’ participation and cooperation with Central Water Commission (CWC).

Minister of state for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat, Chairman CWC G S Jha and Special secretary, MoWR, Amarjit Singh were also present at the workshop.