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India is home to some of the world's most sizeable river diversion infrastructure and ranks third after China and the United States in terms of number of large dams. As per National Register of Large Dam 2023, India owns portfolio of 6281 dams (6138 operational and 143 under construction). These dams are vital for ensuring the water security of the country and constitute a major responsibility in terms of asset management and safety.

The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation through Central Water Commission (CWC) is coordinating and supervising implementation of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II and III, with financial assistance from the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The Project Development Objective is to increase the safety of selected dams in participating States and to strengthen dam safety management in India through institutional strengthening.

This Scheme is a continuing Scheme of DRIP-I, which was implemented during April 2012 to March 2021.Under DRIP-1, physical rehabilitation of 223 dams have been completed at cost of Rs 2567 Cr based on the outcomes of Design Flood review and Inspection by Dam Safety Review Panels. In addition to physical rehabilitation, various other Dam Safety Institutional Strengthening measures were undertaken including publication of Guidelines/Manuals, capacity building of 8 academic and 2 central agencies; publication of dam specific EAPs and O&M Manuals, capacity building or various stakeholders wherein about 5500 officers have been trained on various domains of dam safety etc.

The objectives of DRIP Phase II &III are to be achieved through investments in physical and technological dam improvements, managerial upgrading of dam operations, management and maintenance, with accompanying institutional reforms. This will in turn help to keep dams safe, respond to changing water demands, and keep the downstream population safe from floods.

The Project has provision for physical rehabilitation of 736 dams located in 19 States (Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal) and 2 Central Agencies (Bhakra Beas Management Board, and Damodar Valley Corporation) with budget outlay of Rs 10,211 Cr(Ph-II: Rs 5107 Cr; Ph-III: Rs 5104 Cr). The Project is being implemented in two phases, each of six years duration with two years overlap. The external assistance for each phase is US$ 500 million. Presently 14 States are on-boarded, while balance States/Agencies are in the process of joining this Scheme. The Phase II has been declared effective by the World Bank in October 2021. The AIIB loan has been declared effective in December 2022.

The funding pattern of Scheme is 80:20(Special Category States), 70:30(General Category States) and 50:50(Central Agencies). The Scheme also has provision of Central Grant of 90% of loan amount for special category States (Manipur, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand).

The Project has four components; (i) Rehabilitation of dams and associated appurtenances to improve the safety and operational performance of selected existing dams and associated appurtenances in a sustainable manner, and (ii) Dam safety Institutional Strengthening to strengthen the dam safety institutional setup in participating States as well as on a Central level, (iii) Incidental Revenue Generation for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams, and (iv) Project Management.

The Scheme addresses overarching pillars of dam safety like structural integrity, surveillance and maintenance, instrumentation and monitoring, design intrinsic risks, emergency and operational planning with adequate provision of capacity building including physical rehabilitation. Scheme has also generated opportunities for Indian professionals to provide technical support to various African and South Asian Countries in the area of dam safety.

The details of achievements is given as under:

  • Under the Scheme, detailed project proposal called Project Screening Template (PST) of 123 dams costing Rs 3937 Cr have been approved by the World Bank. So far, tenders amounting Rs 3042 Cr has been published by various Implementing Agencies, wherein contract(s) has been awarded for Rs 1945 Cr.
  • Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase-II and Phase-III provides for establishment of two numbers of Centre of Excellence (CoE) for adapting the advances in dam engineering across the world and developing technologies relevant to Indian conditions. These centers shall have state of the art facilities to provide leadership, best practices, research, support and training in dam engineering.
  • CWC has signed ten (10) year MoA with IIT Roorkee to establish an International Centre of Excellence for Dams in two emerging dam safety areas viz Reservoir Sedimentation and Seismic Hazard Analysis on 14.02.2023. Envisaged as world class State of Art centre, this Centre will provide specialized technical support in investigations, modelling, research and innovations, and technical support services to the Indian and overseas dam owners. The process for development of this Centre has been initiated and various procurements and capacity building initiatives are under progress.
  • Another CoE is planned to be established in IISc Bangalore. Two research areas identified to be taken up at this CoE are - Advanced construction and rehabilitation materials and material testing for dams and Comprehensive (multi- hazard) risk assessment of dams. The proposal is under approval stage.
  • During 2021, total 5 nos training program on procurement management, financial management and Environment& Social Safeguards under DRIP-2 was conducted through video conferencing mode in which about 500 officers from DRIP Phase II Implementing Agencies participated.
  • As part of capacity building program in dam safety, the World Bank conducted an online training on Tier-1 Risk Assessment Framework during January 11-13, 2023, The 20 officials of CWC and 60 officials of State Government participated in this training. Also, series of customized training program on Dam Safety are planned. Three programs have been conducted at NWA pune, wherein about 109 officers of States have been trained. Also regular trainings in web based asset management tool called DHARMA are being organized for various State Governments . Two international training programs on dam safety have been organized , one in USA and other in Canada, wherein about 35 officers State/Central government officials participated. 3 training on EAP, flood routing and freeboard calculation has been organised. Two training(17-19 May; 26-28 june 2023) were for UP WRD officers(80 officers in two trainings), and one training(11-15 Dec) was held in New Delhi for 34 officers belonging to 8 States and academic institutes
  • M.Tech program related to dam safety & rehabilitation was initiated in the year 2021 in two premier academic Institutes viz IIT Roorkee and IISc Bangalore. These programs are continuing and helping to develop a strong cadre for dam safety to carry out the various technical activities as enshrined in the Dam Safety Act 2021. In last three years(i.e academic year 2021 to 2023), about 84 candidates enrolled in these programs. 55 candidates were sponsored by the DRIP Implementing Agencies/State Government/Power Utilities and 29 candidates were GATE qualified/International candidates. The first batch post graduated in the year 2023. CWC sponsored total of 10 officers to pursue M Tech Program at IIT Roorkee and IISc Bangalore over the past two academic years.
  • The International Conference on Dam Safety 2023 organized in Jaipur during 14-15 September 2023. It was inaugurated by Hon'ble Vice President of India, in presence of Hon'ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti and various other Dignitaries. The conference brought together experts, technocrats, researchers, administrators and professionals from around the world to exchange ideas, share experiences and foster collaboration in the field of dam safety. About 800 delegates participated in this Conference, and 51 technical papers were presented by leading experts of various domains.
  • Two(2) number of meetings of Technical Committee of DRIP-II under the Chairmanship of Member (D&R), CWC have been organized so far, in which technical matters with regard to implementation of the scheme were deliberated along with review of the progress of the Scheme

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