Dam Safety Directorate

The Dam Safety Directorate (DSD) was established in the year 1991 in      Tamil Nadu with the object of giving assurance to safety of large dams in Tamil Nadu vide G.O Ms. No: 2771 PWD dt-28 -12-90.  At present, there are 89 nos of WRD dams, (including 3 nos of small dams and 4 nos of drinking water supply reservoirs) and 38 nos of TANGEDCO large dams under the safety monitoring of DSD.  (List of Dams is enclosed vide Annexure -1)

The Dam Safety Directorate is headed by a Director in the rank of a Superintending Engineer with the sanctioned strength of 21 Nos. and now functioning with 8 nos. of Technical staff.

( 1 DSE, 2 AEE & 5 AE).

The following are some of the important works carrying out by the Dam Safety Directorate:-

  1. Preparation of Health Status Report for Dams based on Monsoon inspection reports:

The periodical monsoon inspections of Dams are carried out yearly four times by the field officers (from the level of Executive Engineers to Chief Engineers) as per the guidelines given in G.O.Ms.No. 262 PWD Dated 18-2-1991 and Government letter no.79025 / PWD X2 / 93-3 Dated 10-9-1993 and the reports are prepared by them in the CWC proforma and sent to the Dam Safety Directorate as detailed below.

Sl. No


Target data for inspection

Target Date for Reporting


Pre Monsoon

10th Apr – 14th Jun

Before 25th June


Monsoon I

15th Jun – 15th Aug

Before 25th August


Monsoon II

16th Aug – 14th Nov

Before 25th November


Post Monsoon

15th November-9th April of succeeding year.

Before 20th April

The reports received from the field are reviewed by the DSD and Health Status Reports are prepared for each monsoon period prioritizing the deficiencies and submitted to the Principal Secretary to Government, PWD, Regional Chief Engineers and Chief Engineer (TANGEDCO). The Regional Chief Engineers of WRO and Chief Engineer, TANGEDCO are requested for taking followup action for rectifying the deficiencies.

The consolidated Health Status Report for all the Dams (Annual Consolidated Report) based on the pre-monsoon and post monsoon inspections prepared in the CWC proforma and submitted to the Central Water Commission for review.

2. Phase- I Inspection of Dams.

        Phase-I safety inspection of all the dams in the State (both WRD and TNEB) are being carried out once in five years by the following State level five member multidisciplinary committee headed by the Director, Dam Safety Directorate to assess the general condition of the safety of the dam based upon available records and visual inspection.

1.   Superintending Engineer & Director, DSD               - Chairman

2.   Superintending Engineer (Designs)                        - Member

3.   Executive Engineer                                          b  - Member

      (Soil Mechanics and Research Division)

4.   General Superintendent, P.W. Workshop & Stores      - Member

5.   A representative from the Geological Survey of India   - Member

Inspection of dams in Four cycles had been completed. The 5th cycle inspection has been commenced. So far 11 dams have been inspected.

3.  Phase II Inspection of Dams.

Phase II inspection should be conducted when the results of the phase I inspection indicates the need for additional in depth study and investigation.  Accordingly a Dam Safety Expert Committee (National Expert Team) was constituted by the Government in G.O.(D) No. 562 PW(I.Spl.1) Dept Dt 25-9-07 for carrying out Phase-II safety inspection of Dams with the following experts.


Dr. B.K .Mittal,

Former Chairman,

CWC, New Delhi

Chairman of the Committee  Hydrology and  Dam Design Expert


Shri.K.V.Subba Rao,

Former Chief Engineer, (Irrigation) Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.

Member ,

Dam Construction Expert


Shri. O.D.Mande,

Narayana Vihar,

New Delhi – 110028.   

Member, DSRP,


4. Preparation of History Books of dams:

So far, History books for 9 dams have been prepared. viz.

1. Vaniar, 2. Gomukhi, 3. Mettur, 4. Uppar ( Erode ), 5. Periyar,           6. Pechiparai, 7. Manjalar 8. Manimuthar and 9. Sholaiyar.

5. Preparation of Geological Mapping documents of Dams:

The Geological Mapping documents of dams are being prepared through Geological Survey of India. So far, Geological mapping documents were prepared for 65 PWD dams and 36 TNEB dams.

The document contains information on Geology, Geomorphology, Regional Geology, Major lineament and faults etc. The Dam site Geology on large scale, foundation medium, treatment that was carried out for foundation, seismicity of the area etc., are studied by the Geological Survey of India based on available documents & observations. For each dam, Regional Geological Map, Seismo- Techtonic Map, Geological Map of dam site and seismic zoning map locating the dams site are furnished in the report.  The structural deficiencies observed at the dam site with respect to Geological aspects are reported and recommendations are given.

6. State Dam Safety Committee (SDSC)

 The State Dam Safety Committee was constituted in G.O. Ms. No. 261 PWD Dated 18-2-1991. The Committee was reconstituted to monitor the safety aspects of all the Dams of Tamil Nadu State in G.O. Ms. No. 375 PW (WR2) Dept Dated 30-6-1997 with the following members.

1) Secretary to Government-- PWD                        Chairman

2) Secretary to Government - Energy Department    Vice Chairman

3) Engineer-in Chief, PWD                                     Member

4) Chief Engineer – Operation & Maintenance –PWD Member

5) Chief Engineer- Madurai Region-PWD                  Member

6) Chief Engineer- Trichy Region-PWD                    Member

7) Chief Engineer – Coimbatore Region – PWD        Member

8) Chief Engineer – Chennai Region – PWD             Member

9) Chief Engineer – D.R.& C.S – PWD                    Member

10) Chief Engineer- TNEB – Civil Designs                 Member

11) Director – Geological Survey of India                 Member

12) Deputy Director General –

      Regional Meteorological Department                 Member    

13) Director – SERC or Representative                    Member

14) Director – Dam Safety Directorate-PWD            Member Secretary


The committee meets once in six months, twice in a year. So far  25 meetings were conducted and the last meeting was held on 07.10.2013.

7. National Committee on Dam Safety

The Chief Engineer O & M is the member of the National Committee on Dam safety under the Chairmanship of the Chairman, Central Water Commission which reviews the activities of the State Dam Safety  Organisations in the States. The National Committee on Dam safety meets once in a year. So far, 33 meetings had been conducted and the last meeting was held on 23.09.2014 at New Delhi. 



Hon'ble Chief Minister, in order to give a fillip for maintaining the dams in good condition, has instituted an award for the "Best Maintained Dam". This award is being given every year for the selected dam.

The Hon'ble Chief Minister ordered that a cash incentive of Rs.10,000/-  awarded from the level of Assistant Engineer to the level of Executive Engineer,  Certificate and Shield for Superintending Engineers and Chief Engineers  for the Best Dam Maintenance in that year.

For the year 2011 - 12, Vaigai Dam was selected as the best maintained dam.

For the year 2012 - 13, Periyar Dam (Mullai Periyar) was selected as the best maintained dam.

For the year 2013 - 14, the Parambikulam group of Dams (Parambikulam dam, Thunacadavu and Peruvaripallam) was selected as the best maintained dam.