Jaipur, May 22 (PTI) The Ministry of Jal Shakti on Monday signed an MoU with an institute here to set up a national centre to ensure the protection of dams from earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the central government would provide Rs 30 crore for setting up the proposed centre at the Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT).

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According to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between MNIT and the National Dam Safety Authority of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the new centre will handle technology development related to structural and earthquake safety of all dams in the country.

The central government is working in mission mode towards the safety and maintenance of dams, a statement quoted Shekhawat as saying.

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India has the third largest number of dams -- 6,000 -- in the world, the minister said.

More than 25 per cent of these dams have completed over 50 per cent of their lifespan, while several are a few hundred years old, he added.

Shekhawat also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for introducing a law in 2021 to ensure the safe functioning of the dams in the country.

The Dam Safety Act, 2021 provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dams for the prevention of dam failure-related disasters.

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