The Fifteenth Finance Commission had a meeting with the Ministry of Power in New Delhi today. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Power, Shri R. K. Singh along with the Chairman of the Finance Commission Shri N.K. Singh. Members of the Commission and Senior Officers of the Commission , Ministry of Power and its Public Sector Undertakings were also present.

The meeting discussed the impact of the power sector reforms on state finances as there was a significant correlation between the two

The fiscal positions of States have been impacted by exposure to guarantees provided to power utilities and other public sector units, including those in the transport sector. The liabilities on account of guarantees provided to power units are quite significant in a number of States. By assigning a weight of 90 per cent to the power sector guarantees and 10 per cent to other guarantees, including transport sector guarantees, the extended debt of all States, in aggregate was around 23.3 per cent of GDP in 2011-12. The stakeholders discussed the issue in detail.

In the case of the power sector, the earlier Commissions (13th and 14thFC) had deliberations in the meeting and gathered these issues that some States had not raised tariffs for eight or nine years despite increasing deficits, and that the absence of timely tariff increases had adversely affected the operations of the utilities. Further, it noted that in several States, where tariff revisions had taken place, financial gaps had been reduced. Nevertheless, large financial deficits continued to persist since the true costs were not taken account of.

The regulatory institutions, in general, lacked sufficient capabilities and urged the expediting of tariff reforms, including a multi-year tariff implementation, as required by the Electricity Act, 2003. The Ministry discussed the remedial steps in this regard.

The Union Ministry of Power concurred with the views of the States that compliance with the directions of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) by State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) would bring about discipline and simplify procedures in the distribution sector as well as lead to improvements in the revenue and liquidity position of distribution utilities. It pointed out that the Financial Restructuring Plan of state-owned distribution companies contained a condition for mandatory tariff revisions.

The meeting discussed in detail updated status of the UDAY Scheme. 

The Ministry has proposed to the Commission a scheme for supporting transiting to Electric Mobility in India – for rolling out EV infrastructure across 70 cities and 20% highways in five year i.e. 2020-25 at a cost of Rs.5000 crores.

The Ministry has also proposed VGF of upto 40% amounting to Rs.83500 crores  to meet the cost of installation of Flue Gas Desulphurization to meet the new norms notified by MoEF & CC for power plants.

The Commission and the Ministry of Power agreed to have a separate meeting soon with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

 

*****

MC

Read more: Finance Commission meets the Ministry of Power

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon the industry bodies in the Real Estate Sector to institutionalize a code conduct and a self regulation mechanism to curb unethical practices.

Addressing the young entrepreneurs and professionals at the 3rd YouthCon organized by CREDAI, here today, he pointed out that the sector had come under severe scrutiny by the apex court and statutory Consumer rights bodies due to some unethical practices followed by certain players.

Shri Naidu said that the growing NPA in real estate had not only affected Banks but also dried up Bank loans to the sector from 63% in 2013 to 17% in 2016, thereby accentuating the stress. “You owe as much to your customers and the workers as you do to creditors and suppliers. More than financial viability, it is social obligation and trust that is at stake”, he said.

Quoting the recent report of CAG on Real Estate sector, the Vice President said that 95% of the real estate developers, builders and agents did not have mandatory PAN. He also pointed to surveys from the sources like CREDAI and RERA and said that out of around 3000 entities surveyed; more than 500 didn’t file Income Tax Returns.

Saying that the CAG Report must be the point of reference, Shri Naidu wanted the industry to promote digital transactions and enhance transparency and ethical facet of the sector.

Considering that the Real Estate sector contributes 7.9% to the GDP of the country and provides employment to more than 50 million people, he said that a transparent and predictable regulatory regime was essential to strengthen the real estate market by creating greater confidence in the consumers.

Shri Naidu said that the sector was essential for healthy, inclusive and equitable growth of the economy.

The Vice President added that programmes like AMRUT, HRIDAY and the pioneering initiatives like 100 Smart Cities, Housing for all by 2022 and PMAY present a great opportunity for the sector. He wanted organisations like the CREDAI to take lead in imparting the skill-sets required for new employment opportunities.

Shri Naidu said that it was heartening to note that the Real Estate sector was showing signs of revival due to measures like RERA and GST.

Pointing that the Supreme Court has acknowledged Right to Shelter as a Fundamental Right, he said “we have a massive task at hand” He said there was a shortage of 19 million housing units in India and 96 per cent of those affected by this shortage were people belonging to Economically Weaker Sections and Middle Income Groups.

The Vice President stressed upon the need to create affordable and adequate shelter in urban habitats to the increasing influx of population that is moving out of villages to explore better opportunities.

 

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

I am happy to join youon the 3rd YouthCon of the CREDAI and share my thoughts and expectations with the young entrepreneurs in the real estate sector.

 

Young Friends,

India is poised to assume its rightful place in global economy.

Organizations like World Bank and IMF have recognized India’s growth story. As World Bank has acknowledged “India’s growth performance has been quite impressive. Year after Year it has delivered strong numbers around its potential growth”.

With around 7.3% Growth Rate, India is the fastest growing economy today. We are the sixth largest economy of the world. Over last five years our Ease of Doing Business rankings have improved our ranking from 142 in  2014  to 77 this year and the biggest gain was in construction permits where India climbed 129 ranks to 52nd place.

Domestically, we have created an enabling policy environment and legislative architecture to promote enterprise and innovations. The Prime Minister has given a clarion call to “Reform, Perform and Transform”.  Every sector in our economy is being radically transformed.  For example, GST has been the biggest tax reform anywhere in the world. There has been unprecedented expansion of tax base and tax compliance. There is a rise of 50% in tax base and an increase of 80% in the filing of Income Tax Returns. Financial inclusion is becoming a reality.

We are a young and aspirational India. To give opportunity to young entrepreneurs, the Government has launched schemes like Start Up India under which 15000 new entrepreneurs have been recognized as Start Ups. For small entrepreneurs, 15 crore loans have been sanctioned under the MUDRA Yojna, majority of them being women and persons from weaker sections. With 65% of our population under 35 years, India can potentially draw upon this demographic dividend to build a New India in the next few years. The young leaders like you must lead their respective sectors to this dream.   

 

युवा साथियों,

 

भारत विश्व अर्थव्यवस्था में अपनी अपेक्षित सही जगह लेने के लिये तैयार है। विश्व बैंक और IMF जैसी संस्थाओं ने भी भारत की विकास गाथा को स्वीकार किया है। विश्व बैंक ने माना कि भारत की विकास गाथा प्रशंसनीय रही है। उसने साल दर साल विकास के जबरदस्त आंकड़े प्रस्तुत किये है।

7.3% विकास दर के साथ, आज भारत विश्व की सबसे तेज बढ़ने वाली अर्थव्यवस्था है। हम विश्व की छठी सबसे बड़ी अर्थव्यवस्था हैं।  पिछले पांच सालों में Ease of Doing Business  तालिका में हमारा स्थान 150 से बढ़कर 77 तक पहुँच गया है। हम विश्व की पहली 50 अर्थव्यवस्थाओं में पहुंचने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं।

देश के भीतर हमने, नये उद्यमों और नवोन्वेषण को प्रोत्साहित करने के लिये कारगर नीतियां और कानूनी ढांचा तैयार किया है। प्रधानमंत्री ने रिफार्म, परफार्म तथा ट्रांसफार्म का नया मंत्र दिया है। अर्थव्यवस्था के हर क्षेत्र में आमूलचूल क्रांतिकारी बदलाव हो रहे हैं। GST  को लागू किया जाना, विश्व का सबसे बड़ा कर सुधार था। इसकी वजह से टैक्स बेस तथा राजस्व में वृद्धि हुई है। GST के बाद टैक्स बेस में 50% की वृद्धि हुई है। इसी प्रकार आयकर रिटर्न भरने वालों की संख्या में 80% की वृद्धि हुई है। हम एक टैक्स पालन करने वाले राष्ट्र बन रहे हैं।

हम एक युवा और आकांक्षी देश हैं। युवा उद्यमियों को प्रोत्साहन देने के लिये सरकार की स्टार्ट अप योजना के तहत 15000 नये उद्यमियों को चिन्हित किया गया। छोटे उद्यमियों के लिये मुद्रा योजना के तहत 15 करोड़ ऋण दिये गये जिनमें अधिकांश महिलाएं या दुर्बल वर्ग के लाभार्थी हैं। हमारी जनसंख्या का 65% भाग 35 वर्ष से कम आयु का है। अगले तीन वर्षो में न्यू इंडिया बनाने के लिये हम इस डेमोग्राफिक डिवेडेंट का भरपूर प्रयोग करना चाहते है।  आप जैसे युवा इस स्वप्न को प्राप्त करने के लिये अपने-अपने क्षेत्र का नेतृत्व करें।

The Real Estate sector is an important sector of our economy that contributes 7.9% to the GDP of the country.  Being the second largest job provider in the economy after agriculture, the entire country has stakes in the real estate sector. Of more than 50 million people employed in the construction sector, 90% are minimally skilled and 9% are skilled workers. This figure is likely to rise up to 67 million by 2022.This sector is essential for healthy, inclusive and equitable growth of the economy.

However, in the recent times, the Real estate sector has come under severe scrutiny by apex court and statutory Consumer rights bodies, due to some unethical practices followed by certain players. As I told you it is an important sector of our economy and we cannot allow it to fail. We should take corrective action and industry bodies like yours should institutionalize an internal self-regulation mechanism.  The growing NPA in real estate has not only affected banks but also dried up bank loans to the sector from 63% in 2013 to 17% in 2016, thereby accentuating the stress.

You owe as much to your customers and the workers as you do to creditors and suppliers. More than financial viability, it is social obligation and trust that is at stake.

To promote real estate sector, ambitious urban renewal programmes like AMRUT, HRIDAY and the pioneering initiatives like 100 Smart Cities, Housing for All by 2022 and PMAY have been launched. These programmes require a massive pool of skilled personnel. It is a great opportunity for your organization for imparting the skill-sets required for these new employment opportunities. 

The Government has laid emphasis on affordable housing and has accordingly provided a conducive policy environment and incentives.

In the recent budget, the Government has provided tax relief on the notional income from unsold or self occupied houses, by lowering GST on affordable Houses.

A transparent and predictable regulatory regime is essential to strengthen the real estate market by creating greater confidence in the consumers.

With measures like RERA and GSTthe realty sector is showing signs of revival.

However, I am aware that certain difficulties in the registration of properties still exist. That has been a drag on our Ease of Doing Business ranking for years. I call upon the Central and State Governments to resolve these difficulties to facilitate a steady growth in real estate sector.

 

Friends,

 

The Supreme Court has acknowledged Right to Shelter as a Fundamental Right included in Right to Life under Article 21 of our Constitution.

As such, we have a massive task at hand. Our cities will remain the engines of rapid economic growth.  People are migrating to cities to explore better opportunities. Our urban habitats have to provide adequate shelter to ever increasing influx of population. As per one estimate, there is a shortage of 19 million housing units in India, 96 per cent of those affected by this shortage are people belonging to Economically Weaker Sections and Middle Income Groups.

 

Friends,

 

Any sector survives and thrives with the innovative enterprise of its new Members. The Government is actively promoting innovation and enterprise in every sector of the economy. There is vast scope of innovative partnerships in Real Estate sector too.

I am happy to learn that CREDAI, as part of their CSR, have been training about 1 lakh construction workers. I would suggest that you should provide certification to construction workers after providing them 12-80 hours of orientation and bridge course under Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme. It will greatly help unorganized construction workers in upgrading their skills and improve their job prospects.

This year, the Government has proposed a pension scheme for those employed in unorganized sector. It is indeed a welcome initiative. Being one of the larger sectors employing unorganized workers, I think you should promote and propagate this scheme but also to actively persuade your Members to sensitize and enroll construction workers in the Scheme.

Similarly, very often the benefits of Welfare Cess collected under Building and other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act are not delivered to the construction workers. By one estimate, more than Rs 45000 crores have been collected by the State Governments, of which only 35% could be utilized for the welfare of workers. I hope the State Governments and CREDAI will work together to ensure timely and adequate delivery of intended benefits to the construction workers.

 

Friends,

 

In your sector, unorganized minimally skilled illiterate construction workers are important stakeholders.  I will urge you to explore the possibility of setting up a separate wing in CREDAI for the welfare of construction and building workers. It will help promote and monitor the implementation of statutory obligations towards welfare of these workers.

As young professionals, you all would be aware of innovations being made in the designs and materials to make buildings energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. An elaborate Energy efficiency code has been prescribed. Apex bodies like CREDAI should adopt these Codes.

Similarly, Water preservation and solid waste treatment, should be an essential feature in the Housing projects. I urge you to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in affordable housing projects. These measures will ensure long term savings on power and water bills for the residents.

I have learnt that CREDAI under its CSR activities had launched Clean City Movement, which was not only about solid waste management but also provided employment opportunities to workers from economically weaker sections. I admire your initiative and appeal to you to expand it by joining hands with the local municipal authorities where your projects are located.

You will be doing a great service to the society if could provide technological solutions to remove the unlawful practice of manual scavenging, manual sewer cleaning. These practices are a blot and disgrace to any civilized society and must be removed immediately.

I will also expect you to adopt and adhere to best building construction practices. We all are aware that construction has emerged as major contributor to air pollution in the cities like Delhi.

 

Young Friends,

 

You constitute the rich human capital of our country. Your talent is the biggest asset of the country. Your aspirations and competence drive the country’s growth process. I would urge you to hone your skills, upgrade them and keep learning from the best practices around the world.

The real estate sector has often been blamed for absorbing enormous amount of unaccounted cash. The recent report of CAG on Real Estate sector should be an eye-opener for policy makers as well as the Industry. 95% of the real estate developers, builders and agents don’t have mandatory PAN. A sample survey from the sources like CREDAI and RERA suggested that out of around 3000 entities surveyed, more than 500 didn’t file Income Tax Returns. As young entrepreneurs and professionals of an apex industry organization, I request you to promote digital transactions and enhance transparency and ethical facet of your sector.

 

Young Friends,

 

Let me remind you the seven social sins Mahatma Gandhi elaborated in his weekly news paper Young India on 22nd October, 1925:

 

  • Politics without principles.
  • Wealth without work.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Knowledge without character.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Science without humanity.
  • Worship without sacrifice

 

Knowledge without character and Commerce without morality are sins. As young professionals I beseech you, to keep these principles in mind. Today when India is emerging as sixth largest economy in the world, when we are become one of the most sought after destination for FDI, we must ensure that our growth must be built on strong ethical foundations.

We cannot allow unscrupulous elements to defame our country and derail our growth process. I urge each one of you to maintain a fine balance between profits and ethics.

 

मित्रों,

 

मैं आशा करूंगा कि आप सभी युवा उद्यमी, गांधी जी के मंत्र को याद रखेगें। हमें सुनिश्चित करना होगा कि हमारी प्रगति, नैतिकता के सुदृढ़ आधार पर खड़ी हो। हम चंद अनैतिक तत्वों को अपने देश का नाम बदनाम नहीं करने दे सकते और नहीं ही हम उन्हें अपने विकास के मार्ग में आने देगें। मुझे विश्वास है कि आप सभी लाभ और नैतिकता के बीच संतुलन बना कर अपने भविष्य में आगे प्रगति करेगें।

I am sure such YouthCon will help young entrepreneurs of the Sector to pool their expertise and entrepreneurship, to provide solutions to some of the issues and concerns.  It is essential that our real estate and construction sector is not only financially vibrant but also socially and environmentally responsible. 

I wish you all every success in your future endeavours and wish you a gratifying professional career ahead.

 

Jai Hind!

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

 

Read more: Institutionalize a code of conduct & self...

The 5th International Dam Safety Conference–2019 is being held during 13 and 14 February 2019 in Bhubaneswar as a joint initiative of the Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank under aegis of the ongoing World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) as a part of institutional strengthening. Dam Safety Conferences are being organized as an annual event in different DRIP States in collaboration with the Implementing Agencies and leading academic institutes to provide a common platform for all stakeholders including non-DRIP States. Dam professionals, academicians, scientists, as well as industries both from within the country and from around the world to deliberate on all aspects related to dam safety and the solutions that worked best in addressing dam safety concerns.

Globally India ranks third after China and the USA in terms of the number of large dams with 5264 large dams in operation and 437 large dams under construction. The total storage capacity of the impounded water by these dams is about 283 billion cubic meters (BCM). Dams play a vital role in water security and foster rapid and sustained growth in agricultural, rural, urban and industrial development, which have been key priorities for the Govt. of India since independence. Over the last seventy years, India has invested substantially in this critical infrastructure which is essentially required to store and manage limited surface water resources in reservoirs to ensure food, energy, and water security as well as to mitigate droughts and floods.

About 80% of our large dams are over twenty-five years old. About 209 dams are over 100 years old and were built in an era when design practices and safety considerations were much below the current design and safety norms. Several of these dams may be experiencing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency. Mindful of this, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) had been taking various initiatives since late ‘70s such as establishment of Dam Safety Organisations in the CWC and States. In the 1990s a World Bank assisted DSRP project was launched to rehabilitate 183 distressed dams. Recently, In 2012 The Ministry initiated the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with a duration of 6 years and financial outlay of Rs. 2100 crores. Presently, DRIP coveres rehabilitation of 198 large dam projects located in seven States namely Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand. Government has revised the financial outlay to 3466 crores and extended the duration by two years to complete the ongoing Project activities. In addition to rehabilitation of selected dams, DRIP also involves Institutional Strengthening and Project Management in the ten Implementing Agencies as well as nine academic institutions primarily aimed at sustained dam safety management. In Odisha, 26 large dams are covered under DRIP for rehabilitation including construction of an additional spill way for the Hirakud dam to address the hydrological safety at about Rs. 600 Crores.

The overall implementation, supervision, and coordination of DRIP has been entrusted to the Central Water Commission. The objective of DRIP is not to provide budgetary support for regular Operation and Maintenance (O & M), but to bring new initiatives in the dam safety area through technological advancements, novel rehabilitation construction materials, best global dam safety practices, capacity building of dam owning agencies as well as other selected stakeholders, cross-learning among partners, publication of technical guidelines and manuals, strengthening of the State and the Central Dam Safety Organisations etc.

Institutional strengthening is one of the important pillars of dam safety management and DRIP addresses this aspect holistically. To achieve defined objectives, 115 national and 5 international training programmes, and 8 exposure visits have been organized for the benefit of personnel from DRIP Implementing Agencies in which nearly 4,000 people have been trained on various aspects relating to the design, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of dams. Eight (8) technical guidelines/ manuals have been published for standardising the various important technical protocols across the Country. During this Conference, 3 important national guidelines, 16 Emergency Action Plans, and 5 Operation and Maintenance Manuals are being published. The List of these documents is appended. The copy of all published national guidelines are available at official web site of DRIP.

Emergency Action Plans (EAP) and Operation and Maintenance Manuals are being prepared for all DRIP dams. Seismic Hazard Mapping of the entire country is being done to facilitate the dam safety professionals and dam owners to generate seismic design parameters for preliminary planning and design of water resources structures and seismic review of existing dams. In this context, a web bases Seismic Hazard Information System (SHAIS) is being develop for simplifying the procedures and analysis. Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA), a software tool for asset management has been developed to capture authentic data pertaining to all large dams to act as information repository. It covers the monitoring and health information to regularly review the safety aspects of any dam. This tool has the appropriate access to policy makers, project managers, and dam managers to review the information and take appropriate action.

Government of India is striving to address the issue of dam safety in a comprehensive way for a quite a long time. In this context, Union Cabinet approved the Dam Safety Bill in June 2018 and this Bill was introduced in Parliament in December 2018. The Preamble of the Bill is to provide surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of specified dams for prevention of dam failure related disasters and to provide for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Considering the success of the ongoing DRIP, Government of India proposed Phase-II and Phase-III of DRIP with a financial outlay of over 10,221.0 Crores to rehabilitate around 700 dams. The new Project is proposed to be a State Sector Scheme with 10-year duration, with each proposed Phase of six years duration with two years overlapping. The government of India has given in-principle approval to this Project and very shortly is going to pose to World Bank for funding. This Project has wide spatial coverage; having 18 States and two Central Agencies, and covering about 13% of large dams of India. In addition to three components of ongoing Scheme, it has additional Component i.e. Revenue Generation through incidental i.e. tourism, fisheries, solar and hydel power, water recreations etc.

The Conference has one Plenary Session, 7 Technical Sessions and one Industry Session. The details of the Conference is available at https://damsafety.in/idsc2019. This Conference is part of the series of Dam Safety Conferences organized in Chennai (2015), Bengaluru (2016), Roorkee (2017), and Thiruvananthapuram (2018) which received an overwhelming response in terms of professional participation by Indian and overseas organizations. Over 725 delegates comprising dam owners, policy makers, and dam professionals, Scientists, academia etc. are coming together in this Conference. About 100 overseas experts from 30 Countries representing all the major continents of the world are participating in the Conference. Also, about 150 technical papers have been contributed by experts across the world; 35 national and international organizations both from within the country and abroad are showcasing their technologies, products and services in the exhibition to be organized during the Conference, reflecting the contemporary developments in the dam safety field. To accommodate more oral presentation of more technical papers, four sessions are being organized in two parallel locations making a total of 13 sessions.

The basic objective of these annual events is to give exposure to non-DRIP States as well as other stakeholders across the Country and World, to the best global practices and technological advancements to address the emerging dam safety challenges. As these events are being organised in various regional centres of Country, it also make aware the overseas delegates with culture and traditions of India. 

The key recommendations emerging from the deliberations during the Conference will be published and circulated to all stakeholders and policymakers for implementation. Some selected technical papers received for the Conference will be published as a Compendium to provide a permanent reference for all users. For wider dissemination, the published guidelines/ manuals, as well as the Compendium will be available on the official DRIP website: https//:www.damsafety.in

*****

NP/SKP/IA

Read more: Fifth International Dam Safety Conference to be...

The 5th International Dam Safety Conference–2019 is being held during 13 and 14 February 2019 in Bhubaneswar as a joint initiative of the Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank under aegis of the ongoing World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) as a part of institutional strengthening. Dam Safety Conferences are being organized as an annual event in different DRIP States in collaboration with the Implementing Agencies and leading academic institutes to provide a common platform for all stakeholders including non-DRIP States. Dam professionals, academicians, scientists, as well as industries both from within the country and from around the world to deliberate on all aspects related to dam safety and the solutions that worked best in addressing dam safety concerns.

Globally India ranks third after China and the USA in terms of the number of large dams with 5264 large dams in operation and 437 large dams under construction. The total storage capacity of the impounded water by these dams is about 283 billion cubic meters (BCM). Dams play a vital role in water security and foster rapid and sustained growth in agricultural, rural, urban and industrial development, which have been key priorities for the Govt. of India since independence. Over the last seventy years, India has invested substantially in this critical infrastructure which is essentially required to store and manage limited surface water resources in reservoirs to ensure food, energy, and water security as well as to mitigate droughts and floods.

About 80% of our large dams are over twenty-five years old. About 209 dams are over 100 years old and were built in an era when design practices and safety considerations were much below the current design and safety norms. Several of these dams may be experiencing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency. Mindful of this, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) had been taking various initiatives since late ‘70s such as establishment of Dam Safety Organisations in the CWC and States. In the 1990s a World Bank assisted DSRP project was launched to rehabilitate 183 distressed dams. Recently, In 2012 The Ministry initiated the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with a duration of 6 years and financial outlay of Rs. 2100 crores. Presently, DRIP coveres rehabilitation of 198 large dam projects located in seven States namely Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand. Government has revised the financial outlay to 3466 crores and extended the duration by two years to complete the ongoing Project activities. In addition to rehabilitation of selected dams, DRIP also involves Institutional Strengthening and Project Management in the ten Implementing Agencies as well as nine academic institutions primarily aimed at sustained dam safety management. In Odisha, 26 large dams are covered under DRIP for rehabilitation including construction of an additional spill way for the Hirakud dam to address the hydrological safety at about Rs. 600 Crores.

The overall implementation, supervision, and coordination of DRIP has been entrusted to the Central Water Commission. The objective of DRIP is not to provide budgetary support for regular Operation and Maintenance (O & M), but to bring new initiatives in the dam safety area through technological advancements, novel rehabilitation construction materials, best global dam safety practices, capacity building of dam owning agencies as well as other selected stakeholders, cross-learning among partners, publication of technical guidelines and manuals, strengthening of the State and the Central Dam Safety Organisations etc.

Institutional strengthening is one of the important pillars of dam safety management and DRIP addresses this aspect holistically. To achieve defined objectives, 115 national and 5 international training programmes, and 8 exposure visits have been organized for the benefit of personnel from DRIP Implementing Agencies in which nearly 4,000 people have been trained on various aspects relating to the design, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of dams. Eight (8) technical guidelines/ manuals have been published for standardising the various important technical protocols across the Country. During this Conference, 3 important national guidelines, 16 Emergency Action Plans, and 5 Operation and Maintenance Manuals are being published. The List of these documents is appended. The copy of all published national guidelines are available at official web site of DRIP.

Emergency Action Plans (EAP) and Operation and Maintenance Manuals are being prepared for all DRIP dams. Seismic Hazard Mapping of the entire country is being done to facilitate the dam safety professionals and dam owners to generate seismic design parameters for preliminary planning and design of water resources structures and seismic review of existing dams. In this context, a web bases Seismic Hazard Information System (SHAIS) is being develop for simplifying the procedures and analysis. Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA), a software tool for asset management has been developed to capture authentic data pertaining to all large dams to act as information repository. It covers the monitoring and health information to regularly review the safety aspects of any dam. This tool has the appropriate access to policy makers, project managers, and dam managers to review the information and take appropriate action.

Government of India is striving to address the issue of dam safety in a comprehensive way for a quite a long time. In this context, Union Cabinet approved the Dam Safety Bill in June 2018 and this Bill was introduced in Parliament in December 2018. The Preamble of the Bill is to provide surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of specified dams for prevention of dam failure related disasters and to provide for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Considering the success of the ongoing DRIP, Government of India proposed Phase-II and Phase-III of DRIP with a financial outlay of over 10,221.0 Crores to rehabilitate around 700 dams. The new Project is proposed to be a State Sector Scheme with 10-year duration, with each proposed Phase of six years duration with two years overlapping. The government of India has given in-principle approval to this Project and very shortly is going to pose to World Bank for funding. This Project has wide spatial coverage; having 18 States and two Central Agencies, and covering about 13% of large dams of India. In addition to three components of ongoing Scheme, it has additional Component i.e. Revenue Generation through incidental i.e. tourism, fisheries, solar and hydel power, water recreations etc.

The Conference has one Plenary Session, 7 Technical Sessions and one Industry Session. The details of the Conference is available at https://damsafety.in/idsc2019. This Conference is part of the series of Dam Safety Conferences organized in Chennai (2015), Bengaluru (2016), Roorkee (2017), and Thiruvananthapuram (2018) which received an overwhelming response in terms of professional participation by Indian and overseas organizations. Over 725 delegates comprising dam owners, policy makers, and dam professionals, Scientists, academia etc. are coming together in this Conference. About 100 overseas experts from 30 Countries representing all the major continents of the world are participating in the Conference. Also, about 150 technical papers have been contributed by experts across the world; 35 national and international organizations both from within the country and abroad are showcasing their technologies, products and services in the exhibition to be organized during the Conference, reflecting the contemporary developments in the dam safety field. To accommodate more oral presentation of more technical papers, four sessions are being organized in two parallel locations making a total of 13 sessions.

The basic objective of these annual events is to give exposure to non-DRIP States as well as other stakeholders across the Country and World, to the best global practices and technological advancements to address the emerging dam safety challenges. As these events are being organised in various regional centres of Country, it also make aware the overseas delegates with culture and traditions of India. 

The key recommendations emerging from the deliberations during the Conference will be published and circulated to all stakeholders and policymakers for implementation. Some selected technical papers received for the Conference will be published as a Compendium to provide a permanent reference for all users. For wider dissemination, the published guidelines/ manuals, as well as the Compendium will be available on the official DRIP website: https//:www.damsafety.in

*****

NP/SKP/IA

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