- Safety of Aging Dams in the Country
- Motion of Thanks
Focus: GS III: Infrastructure
Why in News?
As per the National Register of Large (Specified) Dams, 2023 compiled by the National Dam Safety Authority, there are 234 number of large dams in India, which are more than 100 years old.
Overview of Indian Dams
- Total Dams: India boasts a considerable number of dams, with a total of 5,745 dams in its territory.
- Completed and Under Construction: Among these, 5,334 dams have been completed, while an additional 411 dams are currently under construction.
- Global Ranking: India holds the impressive rank of third globally in terms of its extensive efforts in constructing large dams.
- Tehri Dam: Among the notable dams, the Tehri Dam stands out. Located in Uttarakhand, it secures the title of being the tallest dam in India. This imposing structure is situated on the Bhagirathi River.
- Hirakud Dam: The Hirakud Dam, situated on the Mahanadi River in Odisha, takes the distinction of being the longest dam in India.
- Oldest Dam: The Kallanai Dam, which spans the Kaveri River in Tamil Nadu, holds the honor of being the oldest dam in India. With a history spanning around 2000 years, it showcases the enduring engineering prowess of ancient India.
Challenges in Dam Safety and Water Resource Management
- Seismic Vulnerability: Many regions in India are prone to seismic activity, raising concerns about potential earthquakes affecting the stability of dams.
- Soil and Geological Conditions: Unstable soil quality and geological conditions in certain areas create obstacles in ensuring dam safety.
- Aging Infrastructure: Numerous dams in India are aging and may not meet modern safety standards. Ensuring maintenance and rehabilitation of these structures is crucial to prevent failures.
- Climate Change Impact: Changing climate patterns and increased extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall and floods, strain dams and reservoirs, leading to overtopping or potential failure.
- Transboundary Rivers: Shared rivers with neighboring states or countries require collaborative efforts for dam safety and water management. Disputes and lack of cooperation can hinder effective dam management.
- Communication and Emergency Preparedness: Establishing communication networks, evacuation plans, and emergency shelters near dams is essential to manage potential disasters.
- Community Displacement: Construction or operation of dams often necessitates the displacement of local communities, highlighting challenges in ensuring proper resettlement and rehabilitation.
Initiatives for Dam Safety and Water Resource Management in India
Enactment of the Dam Safety Act, 2021:
- Introduced by the Union Government to address dam safety concerns.
- Emphasizes surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of specific dams.
- Goal is to prevent dam failure disasters and establish a safe operational framework.
National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS):
- Establishment of a national-level committee dedicated to dam safety.
- Responsible for shaping dam safety policies and suggesting essential regulations.
- Acts as a central platform to ensure consistent safety standards.
National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA):
- Creation of a regulatory body, the NDSA, to oversee dam safety.
- Tasked with implementing policies set by the National Committee on Dam Safety.
- Provides technical support to State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSO) and resolves inter-state disputes.
Empowerment of State Governments:
- State Governments empowered to form State Committee on Dam Safety.
- Establishment of State Dam Safety Organizations to enforce safety standards.
- Offers essential guidance to dam owners on safety protocols and necessary corrective measures.
National Hydrology Project (NHP):
- Comprises four main components: Water Resources Monitoring System, Water Resources Information System, Water Resources Operations and Planning System, and Institutional Capacity Enhancement.
- Aims to enhance water resource management capabilities across the nation.
- Supports flood forecasting studies conducted by implementing agencies.
Focus: GS II: Polity and Governance
Why in News?
The Prime Minister replied to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha in the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament.
About Motion of Thanks:
- Expresses gratitude for the President’s Address at the commencement of Lok Sabha.
- Must be passed in the House; failure amounts to government defeat.
- Article 86(1) of the Constitution provides that the President may address either the House of Parliament or both Houses assembled together, and for that purpose require the attendance of members.
- Article 87 provides for the special address by the President.
- Clause (1) of that article provides that at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.
- Such an Address is called ‘special address’; and it is also an annual feature.
- No other business is transacted till the President has addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together.
Other Types of Motion
- Definition: An adjournment motion is a parliamentary procedure used to discuss a specific matter of urgent public importance with the Speaker’s consent.
- Requirement: To be admitted, the motion must have the support of 50 members and address an issue of immediate concern.
- Extraordinary Device: As it interrupts the normal business of the House, it is considered an extraordinary parliamentary device.
- Applicability: This motion is available in the Lok Sabha, but not in the Rajya Sabha.
- Effect: The passage of an adjournment motion does not require the government to resign, but it serves as a strong censure of the government’s actions or policies.
- A motion to cut short the debate on a matter in the House.
- If approved, the debate is stopped, and the matter is put to vote immediately.
Motion with a Vote:
- Brought under Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha.
- Allows for a debate with a vote on a specific question, indicating Parliament’s position on the issue.
- Government is obliged to follow Parliament’s decision if the motion is passed.
- Reserved for matters of significant national importance.
Short Duration Discussion:
- Under Rule 193 in Lok Sabha and Rule 176 in Rajya Sabha.
- Allows MPs to discuss a specific issue of public importance without voting.
- Debate lasts for a fixed duration, not exceeding two hours.
- Aim is to bring attention to important issues and allow diverse perspectives to be heard.
- Moved in Lok Sabha to test the confidence of the government.
- Requires support of 50 members to be admitted.
- If passed, the government must resign.
- Occurs when the government is perceived to be losing majority support.
- Passed when governments with wafer-thin majority are called upon to prove their majority.
- Indicates continued mandate to govern.
- Initiated when a member believes a minister has violated the privileges of the House or its members.
- Expresses disapproval and criticizes the minister’s actions.
- Proposed to reduce the amount of a budget demand.
- Passage indicates want of parliamentary confidence in the government and may lead to its resignation.