Dr. Madhavrao Chitale


    Dr. Madhavrao Chitale, born in 1934, graduated with distinction in Civil Engineering in 1955 and joined the Maharashtra State Engineering Service (Class I) in 1956, where he held engineering posts at various levels associated with planning, investigation and construction of river valley projects and then worked as Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra (1981-1983), before moving over to the Government of India in 1984, as Commissioner, River Basins. He was appointed as Chairman, Central Water Commission (apex body of India's water sector) and Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India in 1985 and thereafter as Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India from 1989. He retired from Government service in August 1992.
       Dr. Chitale was Chairman of Indian National Committee on Large Dams (1986-1987), Indian National Committee of ICID (1986-1987), and Indian National Committee on Hydrology (1985-1988), President, Indian Water Resources Society (1989-1990), and a Vice President, International Water Resources Association (1989-1991). He is member of the United Nations Environmental Program's Water Advisory Committee (since 1989) and Vice President of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (1992-1993). He was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Jawahar Lal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad in 1989. Member of the United Nations Environment Program's Water Advisory Committee (1989-92). Member of the Scientific and Programme Committee of the International Lake Environment Foundation (ILEC) since May 1995. Member of the Interim Foundation Committee for World Water Council since April 1995 and then Member of the Interim Board of Governors of WWC since March 1996 and of the Executive Committee of WWC since June 1996. Chairman, Maharashtra State (2nd) Irrigation Commission since January 1996.
     Dr. Chitale was awarded Stockholm Water Prize in 1993 for his contribution to the conservation of the worlds water resources and public education programmes. As a result of Dr. Chitale's efforts, the recent years have been the most dynamic for the water sector in India. His work resulted in an introduction of sound water resources policies, including water pollution control and water quality management, throughout the nation. Previously little attention was given to the subject and most of the work was fragmented.
     The nomination of Dr. Chitale reflected the enormous impact of political education and solid administrative and organisational skills in the process of structuring water conservation in developing countries. The choice of Dr. Chitale proved that high standards of water management are not only applicable in the western industrialised world.
Dr. Chitale recognised the need for public awareness of, and support for, the value of water resources. He introduced a "Water Resources Day," which takes place once a year throughout the vast subcontinent to increase public awareness of the problems associated with the management and supply of water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use.
     This effort placed the subject of water on the priority agenda not only of India but also of the bordering countries in South Asia. He received many honours and awards in recent years for his achievements for the millions of people in the region who benefit from his work. Dr. Chitale has had a brilliant career in the water-oriented industry since graduating with first class honours with distinction in 1955.
       In 1956 he joined the Maharashtra State Engineering Service working in a variety of water projects, including some of the most challenging and complex tasks in design and construction of dams, irrigation schemes, water supply and power projects. Among his achievements was the rapid restoration of Pune City water supply after the collapse of the Panshet and Khadakwasla dams and the construction of under-creek tunnels for the water supply to Bombay.
His talents being greatly recognised, the Indian government appointed him Commission for River Basins and in 1985 Chairman of the Central Water Commission. In 1989 he was appointed Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources for the Government of India, the highest rank in India which an engineer can occupy. His appointment to this position was recognition of his abilities and the contributions he had made.
       During recent years he initiated the establishment of a National Water Board for the implementation of a National Water Policy which he was instrumental in forming in 1987. The proposal materialised in September 19990 and the National Water Board is responsible for initiating effective measures for the systematic development of the water resources in India.
       He reorganised the Central Water Commission in 1991 and established an Environmental Management Organisation also covering environmental impact assessment studies and environmental monitoring. He was instrumental in establishing the Water Quality Monitoring and Management of the Ganges.
       On an international basis, Dr. Chitale has made many presentations throughout the world and his publications on water resources have been studied eagerly by those interested in the subject. He has been a member of the United Nations Environment Programme's Water Advisory Committee. In the early 90s Dr. Chitale retired from service within the Government of India and accepted the post of Secretary General for the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage from January 1, 1993. This appointment was another recognition of his international standing the field of water resources.
Click Here for "The Story of the Stockholm Water Prize Laureates"
Click Here for Marathi Article by Shri. Vidyanand Ranade on Dr. Madhavrao Chitale
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