Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP-2)

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    In News 

    Recently, the Government of India signed a $250 million loan agreement with the World Bank for the Second Phase of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP Phase II).

    About 

    • The first phase of the DRIP programme covered 223 dams in 7 states which improved the safety and operational performance of selected dams, along with institutional strengthening through a system-wide management approach.
    • DRIP Phase II is co-financed by World Bank (WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with US$250 million each.
    • It covers large dams in 19 states of the country.
    •  It is designed to infuse global know-how, innovative technologies in dam safety. 
    • It is especially focused on mitigating the risks of dam failure and ensuring the safety of people, riverine ecology and property located downstream of selected dams.
      • It will do it through structural as well as non-structural measures like physical rehabilitation, preparation of Operation and Maintenance Manuals, Emergency Action Plans, Early Warning System and various other measures.
    • The emphasis has been given to the capacity building of dam owners in order to ensure the availability of trained and skilled manpower for better operation of dams during all seasons in a year.

    Significance 

    • It will enable states and dam owners to extend safety protocols and activities beyond the selected dams to all other dams within their jurisdiction.
    • It will complement the provisions in the Dam Safety Bill 2019, by ensuring capacity building of the dam owners as well as the proposed regulators, as well as creating necessary protocols for dam safety.
    •  It is likely to generate employment opportunities equivalent to approximately 10,00,000 person-days for unskilled workers, and 2,50,000 person-days for working professionals.
    • It will ensure the long term sustainability of required knowledge and human resources to assist dam owners. 
    • India will also position itself as a knowledge leader on dam safety, particularly in South and South-East Asia.

    The Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) 

    • The Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is a State sector scheme.
    • It was formulated to bridge the funding gap and provide urgent finance to States for the repair and maintenance of Dams.
    • Key Points
    • Launched by: Central Water Commission (CWC) with assistance from World Bank in 2012.
    • Under the scheme, financial assistance is being provided by the World Bank (WB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
    • Objective: To improve the safety and operational performance of selected existing dams and associated appurtenances in a sustainable manner.
    • To strengthen the dam safety institutional setup of participating States / Implementing Agencies.
    • Implementation Agencies: Water Resources Departments and State Electricity Boards in the participating States and Central Water Commission at Central Level. 
    • Need: Indian dams and reservoirs play an important role in the economic and agricultural growth of our country by storing approximately 300 billion cubic meter of water annually.
      • These dams present a major responsibility in terms of asset management and safety.
    • Phases: On October 29, 2020, CCEA has cleared Phase II and Phase III of the scheme.
      • The duration of the scheme is of 10 years, to be implemented in two Phases i.e. Phase-II and Phase-III, each of six years duration with an overlap of two years.

     

    Present Status of Dams in India 

    • India ranks third globally after China and the United States of America, with 5334 large dams in operation. In addition, about 411 dams are under construction at present. 
    • There are also several thousand smaller dams. These dams are vital for ensuring the water security of the Country. 
    • Indian dams and reservoirs play an important role in the economic and agricultural growth of our country by storing approximately 300 billion cubic meters of water annually.
    • These dams present a major responsibility in terms of asset management and safety.
    • Due to deferred maintenance and other health issues, these dams have associated risks in case of failure. The consequences of dam failure can be catastrophic, in terms of loss of human life and property, and damage to the ecology.

    Benefits of Construction of Dams

    • Flood control: Water bodies like dams decrease or eliminate the flood effects. 
    • Land improvement is the extra benefit that will occur after an increase in soil productivity because of drainage and land improvement precautions. 
    • Potable Water: Dams supply drinking water and domestic water to address water scarcity. 
    • Irrigation: Dams benefit the dry and unirrigated regions. 
    • Energy: Dams provide energy benefits and make the project more economical with additional value.
    • Transportation benefits: They will occur in case there is waterway transportation in the project.

    Environmental Impacts of Dams

    • Destruction of Nature: The water regime may change as a result of the destruction of nature, unexpected floods may occur and consequently vegetation and natural structures in the riverbanks can be damaged.
    • Affects Fauna: Normal passing ways of territorial animals are hindered since the dam works as a barrier. The fish can be damaged while passing through the floodgates, turbines and pumps of the high bodied dams. 
    • Rehabilitation: Dams affect the social, cultural and economical structure of the region considerably. Especially forcing people, whose settlement areas and lands remain underwater to migrate, affect their psychology negatively.
    • Loss of Aesthetic Beauty: The geological and topographical places that are rare with their exceptional beauties, disappear after lying under the reservoir. 
    • Chances of Earthquakes: Some increase in earthquakes may occur because of the filling of big dam reservoirs.

    Way Forward 

    • A dam can serve the purpose of substantially augmenting the needs of a water-stressed city but care should be taken to fulfil environmental compliances and proper environmental impact assessment.
    • At the same time, the tenets of Cooperative federalism need to be preserved by preventing the possibility of any inter-state disputes.

     

    Source: PIB