Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) 2020 | UPSC

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) 2020 | UPSC


Cabinet approves Externally Aided Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project – Phase II and Phase III

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II & Phase III.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR)


For PRELIMS go through the whole scheme . Forget the numbers and focus on measure , funding , institution involved etc.

For MAINS what the steps in rehabilitation of a dam ? Let us dive in !


3750 (79.6%) dams are more than 20 years old in India.



The aim is to improve the safety and operational performance of selected dams across the whole country.

  • This will be along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach.


Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project is with the financial assistance of the :
  • World Bank (WB)
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).


  • The project cost is Rs 10,211 crore.

The share of external funding is Rs 7,000 crore of the total project cost, and balance Rs 3,211 crore is to be borne by the concerned Implementing Agencies (IAs).

  • The contribution of Central Government is Rs 1,024 crore as loan liability and Rs 285 crore as counter-part funding for Central Component.


  • The Project will be implemented over a period of 10 years duration in two Phases.

Each of six years duration with two years overlapping from April, 2021 to March, 2031.

  • The overall implementation of the project would be coordinated by Central Water Commission.


  • To improve the safety and performance of selected existing dams and associated appurtenances in a sustainable manner.

To strengthen the dam safety institutional setup in participating states as well as at central level.

  • To explore the alternative incidental means at few of selected dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams


  • Rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated appurtenances

Dam safety institutional strengthening in participating States and Central agencies

  • Exploration of alternative incidental means at few of selected dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams
  • Project management.


The Scheme envisages comprehensive rehabilitation of 736 existing dams located across the country.


  • The primary beneficiaries, both urban and rural communities, are dependent on reservoirs for their water supply and livelihood.
  • As well as all downstream communities of the dams who could be placed at physical and/or operational risk if dam safety is compromised.

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) 2020 | UPSC


  • Dams have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development.
  • Irrigated agriculture and hydropower development have been major pillars to achieve these priority goals and to ensure food security.
  • Rainfall occurs mainly in intense and unpredictable downpours within a four-month monsoon season.

It is of high temporal and spatial variability and does not meet year-round irrigation and other water demands.

  • Except for the perennial Himalayan Rivers, almost all the river systems in India are seasonal.
  • India ranks third in the world after China and the United States in terms of number of dams.

In India, there are 4711 large dams completed and another 390 dams are under construction (as per National Register of Large Dams, 2009 published by CWC).


  • These dams have served the country well for the economic stability even in the worst years of drought, floods, cyclones, etc.
  • Out of these, 3750 (79.6%) dams are more than 20 years old.

Many large dams are ageing and have various structural deficiencies and shortcomings in operation and monitoring facilities.

  • Few of them do not meet the present design standards – both structurally and hydrologically.
  • Thus an increasing number of dams fall in the category where they need rehabilitation.


  • Water being a state subject, the state governments are the owners of the dams within their territories.
  • As such any dam safety related initiatives by the Central Government would necessarily have to involve the state governments also.
  • Keeping this in view, the matter was broached in the State Irrigation Ministers Conference held in 1975; In a follow up of its recommendation,

A Dam Safety Organization (DSO) was created at the centre in Central Water Commission (CWC) in 1979.

  • The objective of this DSO was to perform a advisory role for the State Governments and to lay down guidelines, compile technical literature, organize trainings, etc.
  • In general to take steps to create awareness in the states about dam safety and thereafter assist in setting up infrastructure for the same


  • The risk of failure of a dam is one of the inevitable concerns of civilization.
  • There have been about 200 notable failures of large dams in the world (as per ICOLD figures of 1995) and more than 8000 people have died in these disasters.

Dam failures are typically caused by:

  • Factors of age
  • Construction deficiencies
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Extreme weather or seismic events
  • Wrong operation.


Since the dam owners in India – mostly state governments – have limited financial resources for rehabilitation of dams reported to be in distress.

The need has been felt for a centrally coordinated scheme to :

(i) Ensure rehabilitation and modernization of dams to bring them back to full standard of safety and operation;

(ii) Develop and implement adequate maintenance programs.

(iii) Ensure regular review of the status of the dams, both by the operator and by independent review panels, to examine problems relating to sustainable O&M of dams;

(iv) Formulate standards and guidelines and asset management systems to minimize future risks of dam failures; and

(v) Strengthen institutional mechanism in states.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Large dams with substantial need for rehabilitation and improvements have been included and appropriate institutional mechanisms for their safe operation will be developed.
  • Many dams suffer from operational deficiencies, while some dams have structural and mechanical problems that could become a safety hazard.


  • Physical and technical dam improvements
  • Managerial upgrading of dam operations
  • Management and maintenance
  • Accompanying institutional reforms and strengthening of regulatory measures
SUGGESTED READING : http://cwc.gov.in/drip 
     SOURCES:PIB | Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) 2020 | UPSC



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