The Ministry of Water Resources has roped in Indian Institute of Science (IIS) and IIT Madras for restoration of around 250 aging dams in the country. Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed MOUs with the institutes on behalf of ministry which is the nodal agency for Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
"Several dams in the country are in great need of rehabilitation due to ageing. The premier institutes will provide expertise in drawing roadmap and execution of the project," said spokesperson of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. "This agreement will help them in procurement of specified equipment and software for enhancing their capability to support dam rehabilitation efforts of CWC," he added.
The expectations of the government include strengthening the testing laboratories, enhancing analytical capabilities, exposure visits to best global institutions and on-ground exposure to dam safety concerns to the faculty of these institutions with the cooperation of World Bank.
The government has decided to enhance the capability of select premier institutes in dam safety areas so that they, in turn, carry out field investigations at dam sites and provide training and consultancy services to assist the dam owners in their efforts.
India has around 4,900 big dams and several smaller dams while 300 dams are under construction. The government started the DRIP programme in 2012 with the financial assistance of Word Bank with an initial amount of Rs 2,100 crore. The agencies assess the safety requirement of the dams and plan their rehabilitation.