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TN urges Centre to put decision on Dam Safety Bill on hold

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on June 15, 2018 Published on June 15, 2018

Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami says consensus of all States must be obtained before bringing forward such a legislation

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Edapaddi K Palaniswami, has urged the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to keep in abeyance the Centre’s decision to legislate an Act on Dam Safety till all the States are consulted and a consensus is evolved.

“I consider it appropriate that consensus of all the States be obtained before bringing forward such a legislation on Dam Safety,” Palaniswami said in a letter to Modi after the Union Cabinet approved the draft Dam Safety Bill, 2018, on June 13.

When the draft Dam Safety Bill, 2016, was circulated by the Centre, former Tamiil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had in September 2016 conveyed the State’s objections to certain clauses since they encroached upon powers of the State Governments and also the rights conferred on the State by virtue of Inter State Agreements on the dams owned, operated and maintained by the Tamil Nadu Government but located in other State.​​

​​The Centre has not circulated any revised draft after 2016 and it is presumed that the Bill in its original form has been approved by the Union Cabinet on June 13, 2018. This Bill would have wide ramifications on the dams operated and maintained by the State Government especially those dams that are owned operated and maintained by the State Government but are located in the neighbouring State, the letter said.

“A legislation on dam safety should be re-examined and it should not be proceeded with, in haste, without considering the objections raised by Tamil Nadu threadbare,” the letter said.

Published on June 15, 2018
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