New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS): Madhya Pradesh has Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for merely 25 of the 453 large dams while only 31 dams have Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manuals even after 30 years, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has found.
An EAP contains procedures and information to assist the Executive Engineer of the dam in initiating necessary action in time to moderate or alleviate the problems, in addition to issuing early warning and notification messages to responsible emergency management authorities.
"The (Madhya Pradesh) government replied (in September 2020) that EAP, which is a format document, is necessary for all large dams and as per directions of the Chairman of State Dam Safety Committee (SDSC), EAP of 25 dams have been prepared," the CAG report said, adding, "The reply of the government is not acceptable, as no document in confirmation of preparation of EAP of 25 dams has been provided to audit."
"Moreover, the reply does not mention the reasons for non-preparation of EAPs for large dams even after the lapse of 30 years," the report of the CAG on Economic Sector for the year ending March 31, 2019, Madhya Pradesh government, said.
The Madhya Pradesh Water Resources department is the principal agency for construction and maintenance of large and small dams. There were 4,523 (906 large and 3617 small) dams in the state as of December 2019.
The State Dam Safety Organisation (SDSO) had inspected 510 dams during the years 2016-17 to 2018-19 and reported 73 dams (72 dams under category II and one dam under Category I), which needed immediate repairs.
Similarly, O&M manuals for each dam are essential for taking decisions about storing or releasing of water. The SDSO has to take necessary steps for preparation of O&M manual for all large dams.
"Out of 453 large dams in the 16 test checked divisions, O&M manuals were prepared for only 31 dams," the CAG report added.
The state government on (September 2020) replied that the O&M manual for reservoir operation of all large dams has to be prepared as per the latest guidelines by the Central Water Commission (June 2018) for safe operation of reservoirs. In pursuance of these guidelines, all CEs were directed by the SDSC to prepare O&M manuals of all gated large dams on a priority basis.
"The reply of the state government does not address the issue regarding preparation of O&M manual of non-gated large dams. Further, CWC had not instructed to prepare the O&M manual for gated dams only," the CAG report said.