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Meet 3 More Officers Who Rejuvenated Dead Rivers & Won The Prestigious Award

6 IAS officers of UP cadre got awarded with ‘Jal Prahari Award 2023’, given in New Delhi to honour water warriors from across India These officers work on water conservation through their various initiatives, from rejuvenated rivers to creating ponds and bettering the water level Indian Masterminds profiled 3 IAS officers’ work in the first part published two days ago.Now we presents work of three other officers on river rejuvenation.
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Water is the lifeline of not only human beings but almost every living organism. In this second part of our bureaucrats endeavor to conserve water, Indian Masterminds presents three other IAS officers – Kuldeep Meena, Pulkit Khare and Lakshmi N who too have been honored with Jal Prahari Award for remarkable work on river rejuvenation.

IAS KULDEEP MEENA

The 2018-batch IAS officer Mr Meena is currently posted as CDO, Bulandshahr. He rejuvenated 3 rivers in Bulandshahr district of UP, for which he has been given this award.

Among these was a river which had not only become extinct, but even its origin was lost. The river ‘Karwan’ was said to have originated somewhere near Noida, but was untraceable. Mr Meena extracted old records of irrigation and revenue departments, to deliberate its origin. After that, he offered the excavation of it’s original path. Today this river passes through 8 gram panchayats of the district providing them water.

Another such project was ‘Neem’, which once used to be a big river, but had been reduced to a small drain. But it was rejuvenated with Mr Meena’s efforts. Today, this river passes through 27 gram panchayats of the district.

IAS Kuldeep Meena (first from left) receiving the award

Apart from this, work is going on Kaliriver in the district at Mr Meena’s instance. Kali river had become too polluted.Many initiatives are being undertaken to clean it. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is also supporting it with a Rs 50 crore fund.

Mr Meena said, “Trenches are being dug along 125 kilometers banks of the three rivers of which 80 kilometers of work has been completed so far.”

Besides, saplings have been planted on their banks to keep them flowing.  These rivers pass through 125 gram panchayats of 14 development blocks of the district.

Mr Meena belongs to Jaipur, Rajasthan. He graduated (B. Tech) from NIT, Surat before doing MBA from IIM Calcutta. He joined civil services as IPS officer in 2017. But, in 2018, he cracked UPSC again and got IAS cadre. Earlier, he was posted as Joint Magistrate in Gorakhpur.

IAS PULKIT KHARE

The 2011-batch IAS officer Pulkit Khare might be currently awaiting his posting but he has done unprecedented work on water conservation, while working as DM of Pilibhit.

He revived Gomti, one of the holy rivers of India and lifeline of UP.Originating from Gomati Taal, Fulhaar Jheel in Madho Tanda, Pilibhit, it travels around 47 kms in the district before moving to other districts of UP, including Jaunpur, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Sitapur and Lucknow. In recent past, this river had lost its continuous flow and was just limited to some patches in its originating district, Pilibhit. Mr. Khare revived this sacred river to its original shape and flow.Now, Gomti travels across 16 Gram Panchayats in Pilibhit and then enters Shahjahanpur.

Mr. Pulkit Khare on the banks of Gomti

He said, “I was made familiar with the problems. With little research, we came to know that the ground water level along the stretches is good. The river can keep flowing only if the correct strategy is in place.”

He demarcated the river as given in the map. During this process, they had to tackle many farmers who were claiming their land in the river’s course. He called a meeting with the Pradhans of all Gram Panchayats. They decided to use MANREGA to implement the work. He touched base with hydrologists and used their advice to make the process sustainable. 

Hailing from Sultanpur, UP,he did engineering (B.E.) in electrical engineering and then, M.A. in Public Policy. He has also served as collector in Mathura and Hardoi besides serving as CDO in Aligarh, Bulandshahr, Varanasi & Shahjahanpur. He has also worked as CEO, Uttar Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority& VC of Varanasi Development Authority.

IAS Lakshmi N

IAS LAKSHMI N

Apart from 2017-batch IAS officer Saumya Pandey, one more officer from Kanpur won the Jal Prahari Awards – the 2019-batch IAS officer Lakshmi N who is currently posted as CDO, Kanpur Dehat. She has also done unprecedented work on water conservation and carries forwards the projects started by Saumya Pandey as CDO.

She is also working on rejuvenation of Non River in Kanpur. Filth from drains were being dumped into it. But now, the river can take breath and it is being rejuvenated.

Ms Lakshmi originally hails from Karnataka. Earlier she served as joint magistrate in Agra and Kanpur Dehat. In 2018, she cracked UPSC CSE and UPSC IFS exam both. In her thirds attempt, she got 45th rank in CSE and 50th rank IFS. She completed her engineering in Information Science and Engineering from B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bengaluru in 2015.


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