Cabinet okays proposal to introduce Dam Safety Bill in monsoon session

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 13, 2018 Published on June 13, 2018

Minister for Railways, Coal and Finance Piyush Goyal addressing a press conference after the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday   -  PTI

North Eastern Council to be revamped; action-plan for agri education gets nod

Over 5,200 dams across the country will soon have uniform safety norms. The Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for introducing the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 during the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament. The Cabinet also gave its approval for restructuring of the North Eastern Council and action plan for agriculture education.

Dam Safety Bill 2018

The Bill proposes to help all the States and Union Territories adopt uniform dam safety procedures, which will ensure safety of dams and safeguard the benefits from them. It will also help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property. The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.

It also talks about the constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which will evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required. It prescribes setting up a National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which will discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country. There will also be State-level committee on Dam Safety to be set up by each State Government.

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. Due to lack of legal and institutional architecture, dam safety is an issue of concern. Unsafe dams are a hazard and dam break may cause disasters, leading to huge loss of life and property, a Government statement said.

North Eastern Council

In another proposal, the Cabinet decided that Home Minister will now head the North Eastern Council (NEC) while Minister-in-Charge of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) will be the co-chair. The Council is a statutory body with Governors and Chief Ministers of all the eight North-Eastern States as its members.

NEC implements various projects through the State and Central agencies. Under the new arrangement with Home Minister as Chairman and Minister of DoNER as Vice-Chairman, NEC and all the Governors and Chief Ministers of the North-Eastern States as members would provide a forum for discussing inter-State matters more comprehensively and also consider common approaches to be taken in the future. NEC can now perform the tasks undertaken by the various Zonal Councils to discuss inter-State issues as drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and ammunition, boundary disputes etc.

The Cabinet approved the continuation of the three-year action plan (2017-2020) of the scheme for Agricultural Education Division and ICAR Institutes with an outlay of ₹2,225.46 crore. The scheme is aimed to generate quality human resources from the institutions of higher agricultural education. It encompasses several new initiatives including, steps to attract talented students, reducing academic inbreeding and addressing faculty shortage. It will also take care of green initiatives, mitigating faculty shortage, international ranking, alumni involvement, promoting innovations, inspired teacher network, reducing inbreeding, academia interface, technology enabled learning, post-doctoral fellowships,

Published on June 13, 2018
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor