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New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) With India having over 4,700 dams – the third largest number in the world – of which about 100 are more than a century old, a parliamentary panel has suggested the expeditious legislation concerning dam safety.
The Standing Committee on Water Resources, in its report submitted to parliament, said the government should introduce the Dam Safety Bill, 2010 in the budget session.
It said the legislation will help states adopt uniform dam safety norms and provide for proper surveillance, inspection and maintenance of dams of certain parameters.
The committee, headed by Beni Prasad Verma, said the ministry of water resources (MoWR) had informed it that the bill was expected to be introduced in the budget session. The Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal assemblies have passed resolutions empowering parliament to pass the dam safety bill.
According to the National Register of Large Dams, the country has 4,711 completed dams while around 390 are under construction.
Pointing out that there were 477 projects that had spilled over to the 11th Five Year Plan, the committee said some of these have been under execution for the past 50 years or more.
‘The committee desires that the MoWR should take concrete steps so that the spilled over projects, particularly of distant Five Year Plans, are completed during the Eleventh Plan period,’ the report said.
Expressing concern over the ‘tardy pace of execution’ of structures for artificial recharge of water, the committee said the MoWR should pursue the matter with greater vigour with states.
‘Against a target of 794 artificial recharge structures during the 11th Plan, only 121 structures have been completed whereas half the term of the plan is over,’ the committee noted.
It expressed unhappiness over non-achievement of targets for irrigation potential under the ambitious Bharat Nirman programme of the government.
Against the aim of creating irrigation potential of 10 million hectares (Mha) in four years (2005-06 to 2008-09), 7.31 Mha was created till March 2009, the committee said.
The need for legislation has been repeatedly emphasised by the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS), set up in 1987 with the membership of all states and organisations having a significant number of large dams.
While maintenance of the dams is the responsibility of the state governments and dam owners, a Dam Safety Organisation (DSO) was established at the Central Water Commission in May 1979 to develop guidelines for inspection of dams, check lists and other dam safety literature which has also been provided to the states.
The committee also said all information relating to water flow, contamination of surface and groundwater should be collated and ‘put under a suitable template for easy access of all’.
The report of the committee was presented to the Lok Sabha April 20 and tabled in the Rajya Sabha the same day.
Patna, Jan 24 (IANS) A German government agency is going to help Bihar build ‘green’ buildings and win carbon credits in the process, which it can sell in developed countries.
A team from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the German development agency, visited Bihar some time ago to prepare a report on how to help the state develop buildings that are energy efficient, a state government official said.
Another GTZ team is scheduled to arrive here next week “to go ahead with the project for constructing more and more green buildings”, Bihar Art and Culture Department Secretary Vivek Singh told IANS.
“GTZ will provide us expert help and other specialised services. The state government will construct green buildings across the state,” he added.
The project will start with building a museum in this state capital and a convention centre at Rajgir, a historic town in Nalanda district, Singh said. The next item on the agenda will be refurbishing the Moinul Haq sports stadium.
Once these new and old buildings show how they are saving energy through their design and maintenance, those energy savings can be translated into carbon credits that can in turn be sold in the international market.
Developed countries that have to reduce their carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol buy these credits to offset their emissions of greenhouse gases, which are leading to climate change.
Singh said that GTZ would also help the state government sell the carbon credits.