Cabinet nod to nationwide project for rehabilitation and improvement of dams

New Delhi (NVI): The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) – Phase II & Phase III, to improve the safety and operational performance of selected dams across the whole country, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach.

With the financial assistance of the World Bank (WB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the project’s budget outlay is Rs 10,211 crore.

The scheme will be implemented in two Phases, each of six (6) years duration, with two (2) years’ overlap from April, 2021 to March, 2031.

The programme will fund physical rehabilitation of key dams as well as capacity building of dam operators in order to ensure availability of trained and skilled manpower for better operation of dams.

Furthermore, the project will also ensure maintenance and improvement of 736 dams in 19 states in the next 10 years.

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told reporters at a cabinet briefing that the dam rehabilitation and improvement programme phases two and three will be completed under a 10-year plan at a total cost of Rs 10,211 crore.

Providing details, he said the first phase of the programme was launched in 2012. It ended in 2020 under which 223 dams in seven states were included.

Notably, India is third in the world after China and the US to have big dams and has a total of 5,334 big dams and 411 dams are currently under construction.

Eighty per cent of the existing dams are more than 25 years old with some 100-year-old dams also functional, which require serious maintenance, re-enforcement and capacity building as they were built using older technologies.