Irrigation engineering expert T. Hanumantha Rao passes away

M. Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 12, 2018

T Hanumantha Rao. File Photo   -  The Hindu

Well-known irrigation engineering expert and the brain behind the ‘Four Waters' concept, T Hanumantha Rao, passed away at a private hospital late Sunday night. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

The 86-year-old Hanumantha Rao, retired as the irrigation engineer-in-chief of the United Andhra Pradesh. He was an expert with the World Bank and also served as a consultant to the United Nations on projects in Africa.

His Four Water concept brought rich benefits to Rajasthan, where drought affected areas also improved over the years. Several other states, including the two Telugu speaking ones, are actively pursuing the recommendations of the concept.

The four waters are -- rainwater, soil moisture up to water table level, groundwater and surface water. Hanumantha Rao suggested techniques for optimum storing, recharge and utilisation.

Among the several laurels he has won are the Mokshagundem Visveswarayya Award and the Visistha Seva Award of the AP government. Most often, governments and organisations approached him for technical consultation on irrigation projects and interstate water sharing issues, especially related to the Krishna, Godavari and Cauvery.

On the controversial and long-drawn Polavaram project, Rao had advocated the construction of a series of barrages as an alternative to the mega, high investment project, which has now been accorded national project status and is being implemented by the AP government.

He was instrumental in the creation and headed the WALAMTARI (Water and Land Management, Training and Research Institute), a unique facility created in Hyderabad by the erstwhile AP government.

Published on January 09, 2017

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