As per the information provided by the State Governments, 20 States have constituted the State Committee on Dam Safety (SCDS) and 16 States have established the State Dam Safety Organisation (SDSO) in compliance of the provisions of the Dam Safety Act, 2021 within the stipulated deadlines as prescribed in the Act.
The Central Government and the National Dam Safety Authority are pursuing with the State Governments which have not formed the SCDS and SDSO yet. As a result, 5 more States have constituted/established SCDS and SDSO respectively after the mandated deadline of June 30, 2022.
Through inspections, investigations, tests and studies, the health of a dam can be evaluated. Various instruments, which are installed in the dam, provide relevant information on the safety conditions of the dam. Pre and post monsoon inspections are generally carried out by the dam owning agencies every year. As per the Dam Safety Act 2021, all the specified dams are required to be inspected twice a year during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods. States have also constituted the Dam Safety Review Panel (DSRP) for comprehensive audit of their dams. Dam Safety Act 2021 is also having the provision for comprehensive dam safety evaluation of all the specified dams, including Mullaperiyar dam. This comprehensive dam safety evaluation is required to be carried out by the independent panel of experts constituted by the dam owners for the purpose of determining the conditions of the specified dam.
Safety issues of the Mullaperiyar Dam have been examined and reviewed by various expert groups/ committees in the past. The safety issues of this dam were examined under the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through an Empowered Committee during 2010-12. The Empowered Committee had comprehensively evaluated the safety issues of this dam and submitted its report dated 23rd April 2012.
Besides, Union Government in compliance of the Dam Safety Act has constituted the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS). This Committee has representation from States also. This Committee oversees dam safety activities in various States/ Organisations.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in its judgment of 07.05.2014, in the matter of Original Suit No. 3 of 2006 [State of Tamil Nadu Vs State of Kerala & Anr.], held that the Mulla Periyar Dam is safe and further recommended to carry out the balance strengthening measures as per Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgment of 2006. For implementation of the recommendations, a three member Supervisory Committee was constituted by Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2014. This Committee monitors the safety aspects of Mullaperiyar Dam. Further, Hon’ble Supreme Court, vide order dated 08.04.2022, has given directions to strengthen the Supervisory Committee, both in regard to its composition as well as scope of its functions to be brought in conformity with the provisions and powers of National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) as specified in the Dam Safety Act 2021. The reconstituted Supervisory Committee shall discharge all the functions and also exercise all the powers which otherwise are required to be exercised by the NDSA for ensuring safety of the Mullaperiyar Dam. The party States must extend complete cooperation for ensuring that the directions given by the Supervisory Committee from time to time for the purpose of maintenance of the Mullaperiyar Dam and its safety are complied with in prescribed time.
This information was given by the Minister of State, for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.