THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KSEB has constituted a new state-specific Dam Safety Review Panel (DSRP), comprising Kerala Water Resources Department (KWRD), Geological Survey of India (GSI) and KSEB officials as members, for inspection of dams. Until now, the DSRP members were mostly from outside the country. But with Covid-19 proving to be a spoilsport, the government decided to form a panel from within the state.
The ongoing second phase of the project has World Bank funding assistance worth Rs 70 crore. Under DRIP I, a comprehensive rehabilitation and improvement of 223 dam projects coupled with institutional capacity building for safe and sustainable operations were enforced. If the first phase of DRIP had covered only five per cent of large dams in the country, the second phase is expected to address the safety concerns at other dams which have a larger financial outlay where safety aspects of more dams will be addressed.
In DRIP II, the main components, which include rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated accessories, dam safety institutional strengthening, project management and revenue generation through incidental benefits will be checked by the five-member panel chosen for the DSRP. S Rajeev, former director (generation) with KSEB will be the chairman and Sudheer Padkikkal, superintending engineer, KWRD (retd) and dam safety expert, C S Vishnu, senior geologist at Engineering Geology Division, GSI, V S Shaji, chief engineer, KWRD (retd) and hydro mechanical expert and P Mohanan, deputy chief engineer, Thrissur (EAP & RM) and hydrologist are the other members. N S Pillai, chairman, KSEB, told TNIE that the state- specific DSRP has been constituted on the orders of the Central Water Commission. “Due to the pandemic, the CWC asked the state to form a panel so that they can expedite the inspection of the remaining dams of KSEB in DRIP phase II,” said Pillai.