Rajya Sabha gives nod for Dam Safety Bill

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed a bill that seeks to set up an institutional mechanism for the safety of specified dams in the country.

The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 2, 2019. The Rajya Sabha passed the bill with two official amendments through a voice vote. One of the amendments relates to the change in the year mentioned in the bill title from 2019 to 2021.

The bill will now go back to the Lok Sabha as the Rajya Sabha has made amendments to it.

The proposed legislation provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dams for the prevention of dam failure-related disasters. It provides for an institutional mechanism to ensure a safe functioning of the dams.

The demand of some opposition parties to send the bill to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha for scrutiny was negated as only 26 members voted in its favour, while 80 voted against it.

Also, all the amendments moved by the opposition parties were negated.

The House, the functioning of which has been disrupted following the suspension of 12 opposition MPs earlier this week, witnessed the participation of 22 members in the discussion on the bill.

Participating in the discussion, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the proposed legislation will create a National Dam Safety Authority.