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BJD opposes dam safety Bill in Lok Sabha

The government on Wednesday introduced the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha which will enable the States and Union Territories to adopt uniform procedures to ensure safety of reservoirs.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) opposed the Bill, with party MP Bhratruhari Mahtab stating that the “subject comes under the purview of State governments” and not in the purview of the Lok Sabha or Parliament.

Provision for inspection

The Bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance to prevent disasters related to dams.

Introducing the Bill on behalf of Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal countered Mr. Mahtab’s position saying that the Central government had the legislative competency to introduce the Bill.

‘Cause for concern’

“If two States agree, then the Centre has the legislative competency to introduce the Bill,” Mr. Meghwal noted.

There are over 5,200 large dams in India and about 450 are under construction. In addition, there are thousands of medium and small dams. The government said that due to lack of legal and institutional safeguards, dam safety is an issue of concern in the country.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 11:23:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjd-opposes-dam-safety-bill-in-lok-sabha/article25727623.ece

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