Telangana State making rapid strides for Green Telangana

TS making rapid strides for Green Telangana

THE HANS INDIA |   Jun 30,2016 , 03:06 AM IST

Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao participating in Mission Kakatiya works

Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao participating in Mission Kakatiya works

Irrigation Minister’s drive through Whatsapp is unique in India. He interacts with various groups of officials and stakeholders, takes decisions real-time, and the result has been phenomenal. World Bank Officials in their review of Nagarjuna Sagar project modernisation works appreciated the monitoring by the Minister and advocated similar steps in other States too

The Telangana Irrigation & CAD Department is making use of latest technology for effective planning, designing, execution of ongoing projects and restoration of minor irrigation tanks to help irrigation of one crore acres in the State. Some initiatives are use of Google Earth and LiDAR for planning of Projects; Whatsapp groups for monitoring of works; Mission Kakatiya website for online monitoring of restoration of tanks at every stage, dissemination of information; online file tracking system at the Secretariat; tie-up with reputed institutes for good governance etc.

Extensive use of Google Earth is made of for re-engineering projects for conflict resolution with upper riparian States as well as viable utilisation plan for allocated waters of Godavari and Krishna. WAPCOS are using the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey of about 7,600 sqkm in Godavari basin for generation of Digital Elevation Models (DEM). The survey resulted in a very accurate contour map to identify locations of reservoirs/barrages and learn about their capacities.

It is also being utilised for alignment of main water conduits (canals), taking into consideration forest area, inter-state aspects, submergence of upper State areas and etc. It can serve as the basis for sharing transparent data for joint survey of Telangana and Maharashtra. Manual survey methods take years, and convincing the upper State with the manual survey as a basis is a tough task. 

Use of Google Earth and LiDAR is the first of its kind for river basin studies. Very recently Rajasthan and AP (for linking up of rivers to benefit Pennar river basin ayacut) are also following in the footsteps of Telangana. Entire Singapur country is being surveyed by LiDAR. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on the floor of Assembly on March 31 explained through Google Earth the scenario of rights and availability of water and necessity of re-engineering projects in a lucid manner. It is widely appreciated by one and all across the country.

For monitoring of the works, Whatsapp is being used extensively. There are about 30 groups catering to Mission Kakatiya, major projects, district-wise, secretarial staff-wise etc, covering all functional units, are created.  Each group consists of Minister, Principal Secretary, Irrigation, CE to Field Engineers and officials concerned. Issues like Land acquisition, work progress, field issues are being resolved within no time as the decision makers and field staff are in the group. Irrigation Minister’s drive through the Whatsapp is unparallel in the Indian context.

He interacts daily to see that projects are going on as per schedules and the results are phenomenal. He is driving people’s representatives effectively through MLAs Whatsapp group. World Bank Officials in their review of Nagarjuna Sagar project modernisation works appreciated the monitoring by the Minister through Whatsapp and advocated the similar monitoring for other States.

In the irrigation department  website, a module is created for Mission Kakatiya (link: wherein the engineers are given logins to upload every detail like tank identification, estimates preparation, administrative approvals, technical sanction, online tenders calling, tender finalisation, concluding agreements, grounding of works, bills scrutiny and bill submission, payment etc.

Various stages of works are photographed and uploaded. Contractors are also provided with login to upload bills online and payment is also made online to the contractor. The entire process of department work flow is being automated and monitored through online via intranet. 

For general public, a facility is provided to view entire information about every tank restoration. There is huge demand for public participation like adoption of tanks. An online facility to accept donations from anywhere in the world, for a particular tank or in general, is being created. This website is being widely acclaimed for its transparency, up-to-date information.

In order to adopt the latest knowhow,  close coordination with reputed institutes like IIT, BITS, IIIT, ICRISAT, NRSC, NABARD, TRAC etc is established to strengthen the knowledge centers of the department like Central Designs Organization, Hydrology Unit, Execution Units, e-Governance Unit etc. Capacity building of the department   with latest technologies is going on a big way.

In future, a knowledge-based Technological Innovations Excellency centre is proposed. It is proposed to enable every field engineer to capture entire irrigation infrastructure with field survey numbers on Bhuvan (similar to Google Earth) and empower decision-making on real time accurate database. NRSC, an ISRO organization, is being roped in for this. (The writer is Special Officer to Minister Irrigation, Telangana) 

By K Prasad