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Krishnarajasagar(KRS)dam UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The High Court of Karnataka has banned all types of mining and quarrying activities within a 20-km radius of the historic Krishnarajasagar (KRS) dam in Mandya district.

  • The ban will apply even for those mining activities within a 20-km radius for which permissions/licences were already granted by the authorities, or already operating in the area, or were permitted on the orders of the court in earlier rounds of litigation.

Krishnarajasagar (KRS) dam – in which river & district

  • The Krishnarajasagar (KRS) dam is located on the Kaveri River in the Mandya district of Karnataka. 

  • The dam is named after Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore who commissioned its construction in 1911. 

  • It was completed in 1932 and is a gravity dam made of surki mortar, a traditional Indian hydraulic lime mortar.

  • The KRS dam is a vital source of water for Karnataka, providing irrigation for the districts of Mysore and Mandya, 

  • This dam is also used for drinking water for Mysore, Mandya, and the capital city of Bengaluru. 

  • It also plays a crucial role in regulating the flow of the Kaveri River, which is a source of contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Dam Safety Act, 2021

  • The Dam Safety Act, 2021 aims,

  • To Prevent dam failures and their devastating consequences by ensuring proper surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of dams.

  • Establish robust institutional mechanisms for dam safety across India.

  • Classification of damsBased on vulnerability and hazard potential, requiring stricter measures for high-risk dams.

  • State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSOs): Established in each state to manage dam safety, conduct inspections, and issue safety instructions.

  • National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA): Apex body to provide technical guidance, set standards, and audit dam safety practices.

  • Improved monitoring and data collection: Regular inspections, logbooks for recording safety activities, and mandatory information sharing with NDSA.

  • Emergency preparedness: Development of emergency action plans and flood warning systems for high-risk dams.

  • Financial provisions: Allocation of funds for maintenance, repairs, and upgrading of dams.

  • Accountability: Penalties for non-compliance with the Act and negligence leading to dam safety issues.

What is the Need for Dam Safety?

  • The need for dam safety is multifaceted and crucial for protecting people, property, and the environment.

  • Protecting Human Life: Dam failures can have catastrophic consequences, leading to the loss of life downstream. 

  • Floods caused by dam breaks can sweep away entire communities, leaving hundreds or even thousands dead. 

  • Ensuring dam safety reduces this risk and safeguards precious lives.

  • Preventing Property Damage: Dam failures can cause widespread destruction of infrastructure

homes, and agricultural land. 

  • The economic cost of such disasters can be astronomical, running into billions of dollars. 

  • By prioritizing dam safety, we can minimize these economic losses and prevent the displacement of families and communities.

  • Safeguarding Water Security: Dams often play a vital role in water management, providing irrigation for agriculture, drinking water for communities, and generating hydroelectric power

  • Dam failures can disrupt these critical water supplies, leading to droughts, waterborne diseases, and power outages

  • Ensuring dam safety protects vital water resources and their continued use.

  • Preserving Environmental Health: Dams can alter the natural flow of rivers and ecosystems, impacting fish populations, plant life, and water quality. 

  • Dam failures can further exacerbate these environmental concerns, causing pollution, sedimentation, and habitat destruction.

  • Prioritizing dam safety helps mitigate these environmental risks and protect the ecological integrity of river systems.

COMMENTS

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