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Guest of Honour

                                                                                Engineers’ Day - 2012                                                                           Back
Hon. Er. Madhav A. Chitale
Ex-Secretary, MOWR, GOI, Ex-Chairman, CWC, GOI


 After securing the degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with first rank in first class with distinction at  the University of Pune in 1955, Shri. Chitale entered the class I service of the Govt. of Maharashtra in  1956 securing first rank at the competitive Examination of the Public Service Commission. Through the  engineering services competitive examination held by the UPSC in 1955, he was also selected for the  various central services and appointed in the Railways – but he decided not to join there and stayed  with the state's service. While in the state's service, he was Selected as a Parvin Fellow for the  Woodrow Wilson School of 'Public and International Affairs' at the Princeton University in USA in 1974- 75. The University described him as the 'most outstanding' Parvin Fellow. He received the degree of  Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University, Hyderabad in  1989 for his contributions to the field of 'Water Resources Engineering' and thereafter the degree of  Doctor of Science (Honoris causa) from the University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur in 1995  for his contributions to the 'water management and irrigation'. The Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeth honored  him in 2005 with the award of degree of Doctor of Literature on account of his versatile contributions for  the enlightenment of the society.

 During his period of work in the Maharshtra Engineering service (1956-84), he handled challenging and complex tasks in the Design, Planning and Construction of Dams / Water Supply schemes, Irrigation Schemes and Hydro Power with notable contributions in the Emergency Water Supply Scheme for Pune after Panshet disaster (1961) and for the construction of Mula earth dam, Undercreek Tunnels for water supply to Mumbai, Kamthikhairy Dam of the Pench project on cavernous rocks and the spillway designs for the dams of the Jayakwadi and Bhima-Ujani Projects- the two largest irrigation projects of Maharashtra. He planned the Bhatsa Multipurpose project for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in (1966-68) envisaging integrated comprehensive development of the Bhatsa Basin and also constructed the project in its initial years (1976-78). His work for restoration and recommencement of the Koyna Hydro Electric Project stage III (1968-69) after the disastrous earthquake of 1967 was greatly acclaimed by the Govt. of Maharashtra.

He worked as a Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra in the Irrigation Department (1981-83) for the development of command areas of the Canal Irrigation Projects and for the planning, management and construction of Hydro-electric projects and for handling of the interstate water related matters including the interstate projects. While in the State's service, he convened the committee which laid down the revised syllabus for the competitive examination for the state's engineering services. He chaired the committees to reorganize the Engineering Staff College and the Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute and for organizing civil engineering assistants cadres. Govt. have accepted and implemented the recommendations of these committees (1980-82).
He was the Chairman, of the Central Water Commission (CWC) and Ex. Officio Secretary to Government of India (1985-89). CWC is the technical apex body in the field of water resources development in India coordinating all the planning and monitoring of water resources developments in the country, flood forecasting for the rivers and maintaining and developing a comprehensive water account of the country. He was deeply involved in the evolution of the national water policy for India – which was accepted and released in 1987 by the National Water Resources Council headed by the Prime Minister of India. The Dam Safety Committee under his Chairmanship developed and released the guidelines for Dam Safety Procedures in India in 1988. He introduced the national practice of Water Resources Day in the country – beginning from April 1986. (UN also established a World Water Day later from 22nd March 1994). He established the National Water Board to regularly review and monitor the implementation of the National Water Policy and introduced the practice of holding an annual National Water Convention to discuss the emerging issues in the water sector on a public platform.

He was closely involved with the management of the national and interstate projects like Farrakka, Tungabhadra, Bansagar and Betwa and in the dialogues with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan on shared water resources, and with the working of the Brahamaputra Board. As Secretary, Ministry of water resources, Govt. of India, (1989 to 1992) he also chaired the Executive Committee of the Narmada Control Authority & also the Executive Committee of the National Water Development Agency which deals with the interbasin - water - transfer - projects. Dr. Chitale has been the Chairman of the Govt. of India's committee in the Ministry of Environment for environmental scrutiny and clearance of the river valley projects (2000-2004).

As the first full time Secretary-General, of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) 1993-1997, he guided and assisted the 64 active National Committees on irrigation and drainage in the member-countries and the 22 work bodies of the Commission in their assigned tasks for the promotion of Irrigation and Drainage worldwide on scientific lines. He developed the Youth's wing of the ICID and compiled and published the book 'Watsave', summarizing the results of the water saving measures in agriculture adopted by the different member-countries of ICID. There-under he established the International Youth Forum in irrigation and drainage (1996). He has been active at the International level for over fifteen years in important positions, such as a member of the United Nations Environment programmes' water Advisory Committee (1989-92), as Vice president of the International Water Resources Association (1989-91), as member of the Foundation Committee for World Water Council (WWC) (1995-96) and thereafter as a member of the Board of Governors of WWC, Member of the Executive Committee of WWC and also as Chairman, Regional Centers Committee of WWC (1997), as member of the Scientific and Programme Committee of the International Lake Environment Foundation (ILEC) (May 1995 to April 2005) and as a member of the Editorial Board of 'Water Policy', an official journal of WWC, since 1997. He was also the Secretary of the International Water related association's Liason committee (IWALC) (1994-96). As a Chairman of the South Asia Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Water Partnership (May 1998 to Dec 2002) which has been promoting integrated development and management of water resources. He took lead in establishing river water partnerships of the stakeholder organizations in India and other South Asian Countries. He has been elected as a lifetime honorary fellow of the International Water Institute at Oslo, Norway in 1999.

He established in 1981 the only Indian periodical which is devoted to the subject of Irrigation titled as 'Sinchan' in the regional language Marathi. It's current circulation is more than 25000. In 1988 he organized in Delhi an extensive exhibition for school students on the topic of water. 80,000 of them visited the exhibition in well organized batches. He was the President of the Indian Water Resources Society (1989-90), a non governmental professional association which enlarged its membership four fold during his tenure and established over 25 active centers spread-out in the country for advocacy of the systematic management of water resources. He was the Chairman of the River Valley Project's Division of Bureau of Indian Standards (1988-93). As a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering & a Vice President of academy (1992 and 1993) he brought out the first publication which was on the topic of 'Water management' and which was released at the hands of the then Vice President of India.

He has been honored for his 'Outstanding Engineering Contributions' by the Institution of Engineers (India) in 1998 and by the Indian chapter of the American Concrete Institute in 2002 for his 'contributions to Civil Engineering'. He has been conferred the Honorary membership of the Indian Water Works Association (1988) for 'Promoting scientific and integrated management of water in the country'. He is also honored with the Chinmulgund 'Distinguished Public Technocrat Award' in (1990) at the hands of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for his contributions at the state level and at the national level to the 'Technocratic management of the country's water resources'. He was Decorated with the 1st 'Vasundhara Samman' at the International film festival, Pune in 2007 for his contributions to the environmental science. The Indian Society for Hydraulics conferred on him the 'Life time Achievement Award' in Dec 08 at their Hydro 2008 conference.

The Stockholm Water Prize which is described by Sweden as the 'Water's Nobel Prize' and is handed out by the King of Sweden on recommendations from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was awarded to him in 1993 for his 'Contribution to the conservation of World's water resources and public education programme'.

Under his Chairmanship, the high level 12 member interdisciplinary Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission presented an extensive 2000 page report in 5 volumes outlining a perspective plan of actions for the 25 sub-basins of the state. It has been published in Marathi and was later translated and made available in English also. The recommendations of the commission are now under implementation. As a Chairman of a committee on Mumbai's Water Supply (1993-94) he prepared and presented a report to the Govt. of Maharashtra recommending demand management measures and the sequences of development of additional water resources for the future requirements of Mumbai. The report has been formally accepted by the Govt. (1996). In 2003 he has also submitted a similar report for the Mumbai Metropolitan Area out side the Mumbai city limits. Recently he was the Chairman of the Fact Finding Committee on Mumbai Floods -2005, which has presented its report to the Govt. of Maharashtra in April 06, that is under implementation. He is currently a member of the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority since May 2006.

He has lectured extensively over the last 30 years on national and international platforms, at the staff colleges, at the training institutions –and at social / public functions on wide ranging technical, managerial, administrative, social and national topics and has contributed numerous articles to prestigious national and international journals and commemorative volumes. He had been a trustee of the Marathi Vidnyan Parishad for ten years and of the Marathi Arthashashtra Parishad for three years recently. He has edited the Book on 'Productivity of water and land' (1996) and on 'water saving' : A global review (1998). He has also written a book titled 'A Blue Revolution' – as on overview of the Indian developments in the water sector (2000)

Currently he is busy with the promotion of voluntary organizations like the Indian Council for Water and Culture, 'Sinchan Sahayoga' for collaborative actions in irrigation, the 'Sarovar Samvardhini' for community management of lakes, water partnerships of stakeholder organizations in the basin for promoting integrated water management in a sustainable manner. Sinchan Sahayoga holds regional seminars on irrigation and an annual Irrigation conference regularly since 1999 turn by turn in the different districts of the state under his active guidance, initially beginning with the four Agricultural Universities of the state, particularly their Depts. of Agricultural Engineering as the principle hosts. Large number of farmers and scientists along with administrators and social workers participate voluntarily. The seminars or the annual conferences are focused on specific themes that are of particular relevance to the neighborhood of the venue. He is also actively involved in the organization of the biennial Marathi Jal Sahitya Parishads for bringing together on a common platform the literary personnel and the water scientists, and in the promotion of a monthly magazine in Marathi, 'Jal Samvad', (Dialogue on water) for encouraging extensive public dialogue on water related issues

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