Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Water Resources
16-February-2016 11:31 IST
Workshop on Lessons Learnt from the Ongoing Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project

Sushri Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will inaugurate a workshop on lessons Learnt from the ongoing Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) on 18 February 2016 at New Delhi. Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat, Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will grace the occasion. Senior Executives overseeing dam operation and maintenance in the States as also other large dam owning organizations are expected to participate in the Workshop.

There are about 4900 large dams in India and about 80 % of them are over 25 years old. The old dams designed and built to withstand certain levels of flood and earthquake and may not meet the revised estimates based on information gathered over the period. The design practices and safety considerations prevailing at that time also do not match with the current design standards and the safety norms. The engineering properties of the foundation or the material used to build the dams can deteriorate over time. Owing to these factors and issues of differed maintenance, some of the dams may be experiencing distress and require urgent repairs to ensure their safety and restore their operational reliability.

Any remote event of dam failure seriously affects the lives, property and the environment in addition to disrupting the services provided by the dams. Realizing the importance of dam safety in the country, Government of India embarked on the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with loan assistance from the World Bank for rehabilitation and improvement of about 250 dams in seven States. The six-year DRIP project, started in April, 2012 is in mid-way through its implementation.

Concern was expressed in several forums about the urgent need for rehabilitation of several large dams which are experiencing distress conditions, across all States, to ensure their safety and operational efficiency. In view of the complex nature of issues involved in rehabilitation of these ageing large dams, it was felt appropriate to draw on the experience of DRIP implementation in sensitizing the dam safety concerns and to determine strategies for undertaking this enormous task. Accordingly, the above Workshop is being organized on the subject.

This Workshop will draw on the experience gained by the country in mitigation of the distress conditions of large dams and also on the lessons learnt in three years of DRIP implementation in the rehabilitation of dams. The recommendations emerging out of this Conference will help in determining the strategies for undertaking the large scale rehabilitation work and for managing the technical, managerial and financial resources required to implement the mammoth task.