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 Saluting Sir M Visvesvaraya The Water Resource Management Visionary 

Date of Publish - Tuesday, 10th October 2017

Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (also Sir MV, M Visvesvaraya) is one of the greatest engineers in India nation who had a vision for water resource management and water disaster management. He is known for designing automatic barrier water floodgates installed at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune in 1903. He impressed Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief of India and Lord Sydenham the Governor of Bombay with his innovative ideas in constructing Khadakwasla Reservoir at Poona built.

Visvesvaraya was credited with introducing the Block System of Irrigation and flood gates in Bombay. He gave ideas for the construction of KRS dam the then biggest dam of Asia and oversaw its completion.

Services Rendered to City of Hyderabad

In 1908 city of Hyderabad woke up on 28 September 1908 seeing a great deluge that resulted in the loss of fifty thousand lives. During that time, The Hyderabad Government consulted Sir MV and implemented his flood disaster management strategies thereby saving the city. The city of Hyderabad owes to him more than other cities as his ideas helped to control the floods of the Musi River. A second time in 1922, the city recalled his services to plan a drainage scheme for the Hyderabad city. As the city has advanced with skyscrapers, flyovers, and heavy congestion, we need visionaries in town planning management, water resource management, and flood disaster management. It is in this area relevant talent needs to be raised and networked to enhanced city living.


In his capacity as the Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department of the Government of Mysore, he set another milestone by constructing a dam across Cauvery river. This dam is known as Krishnaraja Sagar Dam attached to famed Brindavan Gardens in Mysore showcases his town planning and engineering excellence. It is not hyperbole to state Visvesvaraya was the builder of modern Mysore in the capacity as the Dewan of Mysore during 1912 to 1918. He launched the Mysore Iron and Steel Works at Bhadravati that triggered the industrialisation of Mysore.

Visvesvaraya realised the importance of planning before many others that caught the attention of the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. At a function held at Bangalore to felicitate Visvesvaraya on his hundredth birthday, Pandit Nehru paid generous tribute to Visvesvaraya a dreamer, planner, and a man of action.

Early Life

He was born on 15 September 1861 at Muddenahalli village in Kolar, Karnataka State. Having lost his father at his young age his uncle Ramayya raised him and provided the best possible education. He was the first ranked in B.A. examination from the Central College, Bangalore. After that, he pursued engineering in 1884 from Pune and won James Berkeley Prize and joined the Public Works Department of Government of Bombay as Assistant Engineer and retired as Superintending Engineer in 1908.

During 1912 to 1918, he served as Diwan of Mysore. Visvesvaraya was a ‘Bharat Ratna’ Jewel, and it is no wonder the Government of India conferred on him the highest honour of the country, Bharat Ratna 1955. Visvesvaraya died on 14th of April, 1962 at the age of 101.

Conclusion and Challenge

Sir MV is a role model for today’s student community. Advanced case studies on him how he faced challenges, how he was out of the comfort zone, yet became successful winning laurels at home and abroad should be an eye opener to teachers in general and students in particular. Will teachers rise to the occasion?

Prof. P. Sreenivas Sarma


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