A scholar, statesman, educationist and perhaps the most celebrated engineer in India, Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was the embodiment of everything a country needs to strive for a better future.
This year will mark the 48th Engineers Day celebrations in India, held in commemoration of Visvesvaraya’s 155th birth anniversary.
Born on 15 September 1861 in the village of Muddenahalli in the Kingdom of Mysore (now in Karnataka).
Visvesvaraya played many parts in his life and the day is marked as a remembrance of his achievements and spirit of progress.
The Block System of Irrigation, a scheme prepared by Visvesvaraya, was a big achievement. The scheme was prepared at the instance of the President of the Indian Irrigation Commission, ‘to make irrigation works in the Bombay Presidency more popular and profitable and yield a reasonable return on the outlay that Government had incurred on them.’
He also designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates which were first installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune. These gates were first used at Khadakvasla dam to control the flood of the Mootha Canal flowing through Pune.
The gates similar to the ones developed by Visvesvaraya were later used in the Tagra Dam in Gwalior, Krishnasagar dam in Mysore and other large storage dams.
Following the success and at the invitation of Nizam’s Government Visvesvaraya took up the appointment of the Chief Engineer at Hyderabad in 1909. He designed a flood protection system to protect the city of Hyderabad from floods, and subsequently earned a celebratory status, reports The Hindu.
Later the same year, Visvesvaraya joined the Mysore Service as Chief Engineer. After three years of his services as the Chief Engineer, Visvesvaraya was appointed as Diwan of the Mysore State by its ruler, Krishnarajendra Wodeyar. Visvesvaraya served as Dewan for six years.
Visvesvaraya received India’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955 and was also knighted as a Commander of the Indian Empire by King George V for his myriad contributions to the public good.