Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 29
Amid concerns expressed by MPs over the Dam Safety Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha today, those associated with its preparation said the draft law is both robust and modernistic.
While states opposed any Bill on dams by the Centre as they felt it encroached upon their space as “water & storages” was a subject under Entry 17 List-II (State List) of Schedule Seven of Article 246 of the Constitution of India, the Centre secured a favourable opinion from the Solicitor General of India that it can legislate a Bill on Dam Safety under Entries 56 & 97 of List- I (Union List), official sources told The Tribune.
“We then wrote up the Bill and the Cabinet note. There were several meetings in the PMO . When the Bill was finally discussed with the PM, who on account of his experience in water sector as CM Gujarat, had two observations: Whether the Bill took care of only the dam structure or the upstream catchment area as well? And whether we had consulted international experts and if the Bill was in line with the best practices?” sources said.
Officials said the Bill takes care of the upstream catchment area and the downstream of the dam as well. The officials also discussed the outline of the Bill with the World Bank and the President of the International Commission of Large Dams who appreciated the Bill.
The Union Cabinet approved the Bill and it was introduced in the 16th Lok Sabha last December but lapsed on the dissolution of the House. The Bill was cleared again last month by the Cabinet.
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