Experts debate uniform dam safety protocols
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Experts debate uniform dam safety protocols

November 29, 2022
  • Bureau of Indian Standards’ Seminar on ‘Repair, Retrofitting and Rehabilitation of Dams’
  • Visit KRS Reservoir, inspect repair works taken up with World Bank funds

Mysore/Mysuru: Dams are a national asset and a standard approach must be devised to maintain all the dams in India. Many dams in India are more than 100 years old and require constant maintenance.

As numerous dams are in a state of distress, a systematic approach is required to deal with such problems. The identification of the causes of deterioration and consequent repair or rehabilitation strategy at optimum cost is essential. These were some of the points that were discussed and deliberated at the two-day national seminar that was held at Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden Hotel in Mandya.

The seminar ‘Repair, Retrofitting and Rehabilitation of Dams’ that was organised by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Water Resources Department in association with Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, JSS Science and Technology University, concluded this morning.

DRIP project

The delegates visited Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam where an ambitious project has been taken up to replace the 143 sluice gates (crest gates) of a total of 173 sluice gates of various dimensions and at various levels.

The funds (Rs. 68 crore) were released by the World Bank under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) based on the request by the Central Water Commission (CWC) that submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and the design.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Director and Head of Water Resources Department R. Bhanu Prakash said that the seminar deliberated on standardised measures to safeguard all the dams in India. “There are nearly 5,800 large and small dams in the country, one-third of which are concrete and masonry dams. Apart from the large dams, India has innumerable major and minor structures, which have been created through huge investments,” he said.

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These dams are ageing over the years with about 80 percent of dams exceeding 25 years of age, and over 227 dams exceeding 100 years. The ageing of dams and deferred maintenance of the dam have made dam safety a matter of concern.

Recent advancement of Dam Safety Act, 2021 has strengthened the need to review this area and bring out the best practices through standardisation in the country. “We have to make use of relevant standard codes and guidelines of BIS for the purpose of designing or evaluating the safety of specified dam, and furnish reasons, if any departure is made in the design or dam safety evaluation,” he added. 

The Act is aimed at ensuring surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure-related disasters and to provide for an institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning.

Why KRS Dam was chosen

“We chose the KRS Dam as it is one of the oldest dams in India built during Wadiyar rule. It is an engineering marvel. Many standard practices are being followed here to repair sluice gates and we have come here to study the same. The Stage-1 of World Bank DRIP project has already been completed and the works are on to complete the Stage-2,” Bhanu Prakash said. “We deliberated on measures to evolve uniform dam safety policies, protocols and procedures, timely repair and maintenance, operations and maintenance manual, record of incidents and failure and risk assessment study. This will help establish a regulating body to ensure nationwide implementation of dam safety policies and standards,” he added.

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