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Clearance of the Dam Safety Bill 2019

Learn about the Clearance of the Dam Safety Bill, the role of Rajya Sabha and the Dam Safety Act of 2019. Study major highlights of the bill and how it will affect the country's water situation.

Amending the constitution, creating any new laws or passing any bill for a country requires approval of many committees and thorough inspection. A Bill is passed after final approval. A considerable amount of the Indian population practises agriculture for their livelihood. The energy needs of the high population of India are also large. Even though India gets an adequate amount of rainfall, harvesting that water hasn’t been quite successfully implemented yet. Hence, dams are important for India to fulfil water and power needs. Learn about the Dam Safety bill of 2019 passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Dams: Functions and Types

A dam is a barrier of concrete that will restrict the flow of water. The restricted water is further used to create reservoirs. This system is useful in preventing floods, but water conserved could also be used for human consumption, agriculture, factories, etc.

The dams could also be used for generating hydropower, that is, electricity generated due to the pressure of the flow of water.  Energy or electricity created in this way is a renewable form of energy. A dam is useful in collecting water to be equally distributed among various areas.

There are various dams based on the material used and the structure. The different types of dams are given below.

Arch Dam

The shape of the dam is curved upstream. The dam is curved vertically as well as horizontally. 

Buttress Dam

This type of dam is supported by a series of buttresses and consists of a watertight part. It also contains a series of arches for the upstream face.

Diversion Dam

The purpose of a divergent dam is to divert water from a particular water body into another water body.

Embankment Dam

 This is constructed of industrial waste materials or natural materials.

These are the most common types of dams; other dams also exist.

Dams in India

The water and the power requirements of India are high. The current coal shortage is causing load shedding in many parts of the country. Agriculture in countries is also not well developed due to lack of water. The construction of dams in India has contributed to solving these problems. 

Some of the major dams in India are:

Tehri Dam

Tehri Dam is located in Uttarakhand. It is the highest dam in India, at about 260.5 metres. The length of this dam is 575 metres. It is built on the river Bhagirathi.

Hirakud Dam

Hirakud dam is situated in Odisha. It is the longest dam in India. The length of this dam is 25.79 km. This time is built on the river Mahanadi.

Kallanai Dam

Kallanai dam is located in Tamil Nādu and is the oldest dam in India. It was built on the river Kaveri and the year of completion is believed to be between 100 BC and 100 AD.

Let us learn about the Dam Safety Bill passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2019.

Dam Safety Bill, 2019

The Dam Safety Bill or the dam Safety act was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 2nd December 2021. The bill was created to ensure inspection, surveillance operation and maintenance of all the dams specified in the bill across the country.

The criteria for the dams are the height should be between 10 to 15 m or more than that with a specific structure and design. Two national bodies are associated with this act. They are the National Committee on Dam Safety and National Dam Safety Authority. Two state bodies are the state dam Safety organisation and State Committee on Dam safety, which are also associated with this bill. The responsibility of these bodies will be inspection, surveillance and supervision of the operations of maintenance of dams within their jurisdiction. The bill’s schedule provides the list of functions that the state and national committees should perform. The government can make amendments to this bill. Any offence suggested under this bill could land the offender with 2 years of jail time or a fine, or sometimes both in some cases. Lok Sabha introduced the bill on July 29, 2019, and Lok Sabha passed it on 2nd August 2019. The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on December 2, 2021.


India is a country that experiences frequent water shortest for agriculture and load shedding due to less electricity generation. Dams are excellent tools to solve these problems. Dams are arched wall-like structures. Dams are useful in preventing floods, equal distribution of water and generation of electricity.

The Dam Safety Bill of 2019 was created for surveillance maintenance of the dams specified in the bill. The bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha on July 29 2019, passed in Lok Sabha on 2 August 2019, and finally in Rajya Sabha on December 2, 2021.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

What is the need for the Dam Safety Bill, 2019?

Ans. The Dam Safety Bill was created to maintain the dams  specified in the b...Read full

When was the dam Safety bill first introduced?

Ans. The dam safety bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 29 201...Read full

Which national and state bodies are associated with the dam safety bill, 2019?

Ans. The national bodies associated with the Dam safety bill are: ...Read full

What are the various benefits of the dams?

Ans. Following are the various benefits of a Dam. ...Read full