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Meet 3 UP Cadre IAS Officers Who Received Jal Prahari Awards 2023, Know Why They Were Selected

6 IAS officers of UP cadre got awarded with prestigious ‘Jal Prahari Award 2023’ Jal Prahari Puraskar 2023 by Ministry of Jal Shakti were given in New Delhi to honour water warriors from across India Indian Masterminds presents 3 IAS officer’s works that won them this award
Indian Masterminds Stories

“Rahiman paani raakhiye, Bin paani sab soon. Paani gaye na ubere Moti, Manus, Choon!” These famous lines of the great poet, Rahim, translates into: ‘Keep water, as without water there is nothing. Without water, pearl, swan and dough cannot exist.’ Following in this path, the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under Ministry of Jal Shakti awarded the prestigious ‘Jal Prahari Awards 2023’ to 6 UP cadre IAS officers.

Indian Masterminds presents three of those IAS officers and their works. They are – GS Priyadarhi, Saumya Pandey and Manish Kumar Bansal.

IAS SAUMYA PANDEY

2017 batch IAS officer Saumya Pandey has done unprecedented work on water conservation, while serving in the post of CDO in Kanpur Dehat in 2022. She is currently serving as Labour Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh and is still working on water conservation. She had launched the ‘Jalabhishek campaign’.

She said, “I dedicate this award to the people of Kanpur Dehat and all the stakeholders who joined hands on the very important topic of water conservation. When we talk about water conservation, we should understand that it’s always a team effort.”

According to the 2022 report of the Central Ground Water Board, 7 out of 10 development blocks of Kanpur fall in the semi-critical category.

IAS Saumya Pandey being felicitated

The Jalabhishek program was started in the year 2022. In this, new initiatives are being taken by government departments to increase water conservation through public participation by adopting technical and scientific methods.

Water budget plans are prepared in every village through Jan Chaupal and Jal Chaupal, in which an integrated GIS based recharge plan is prepared for the construction of Amrit Sarovar, Amrit Vatikas and strengthening of ponds. Along with this, attention is also paid to tree plantation and construction of small dams in the district.

Due to these efforts, 12,700 crore litres of water could be conserved. The officer had installed rooftop rain water harvesting system in government buildings, undertook beautification of ponds, carried out plantation, etc., and also restoration of the Pandu River and Singur River. She also conducted public awareness campaigns through various programs on water conservation with children in Jal Chaupal and schools. She thanks the Union Jal Shakti Ministry for recognising her water conservation efforts and management and said that this honour would greatly encourage her.

“In my tenure, I understood that the most important factor for success of any project or initiative is the ownership by people for whom we are doing the project or mission. Similarly in this case, I analyzed and found out that there is deficit of 60 thousands crore litres, which we are not able to conserve only because there was lack of structures for conservation. With this background in mind, we launched the ‘Jal Abhishek’ programme.”

Ms. Pandey was a UPSC topper with 4th rank in her first attempt. She is a mechanical engineering gold medalist from the prestigious Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad. She has served as joint magistrate in Ghaziabad and Siddharthnagar districts. She has also worked as Assistant Secretary in Ministry of Defence.

IAS GS PRIYADARSHI

2004 batch IAS officer GS Priyadarshi is currently posted as Rural Development Commissioner in Uttar Pradesh. Under his leadership, excellent work has been done in Uttar Pradesh regarding water conservation and climate change. His efforts have not only succeeded in preventing future water crisis in rural areas, but the villagers are also getting clean drinking water.

IAS officer GS Priyadarshi being felicitated

Under his leadership, work has been done in various areas, ranging from construction of nectar ponds in villages to revival of extinct rivers. Till now, more than 14731 Amrit Sarovars and 11882 ponds have been constructed.

He said, “It’s really an honour for me to get this award. I will continue to work towards water conservation.”

IAS MANISH BANSAL

2014 batch IAS officer and District Magistrate of Sambhal district in UP, Mr. Manish Bansal is one such green warrior whose efforts not only rejuvenated a dead river but also generated employment for hundreds of people living in nearby villages. He was awarded ‘Jal Prahari Award 2023’ for his work towards water conservation.

IAS Manish Kumar being felicitated

In UP’s Sambhal district, a 110 km-long river is now flowing freely and helping farmers and villagers. With the success of this project, the administration now plans to bring another river back to life.
In November 2022, the officer started a project to revive Sot River which was almost dead. It is a seasonal river in the Sambhal district, believed to be flowing through Sambhal, Amroha, and Bijnor districts since ancient times. About 110 km stretch of this river is in Sambhal.

However, this river was almost dead for a long time. There were no signs of existence and people occupied its downstream areas and started farming. It had become a completely flat land. However, with Mr. Bansal’s efforts, this river miraculously came back to life! For this and many more works, he has been honoured with the Jal Prahari 2023 Award.

Seeing the success of this project, the district administration has now taken the initiative to revive another river, the Mahava River, which is another seasonal river that enters the Sambhal district via Bijnor. It is a tributary of the river Ganga. Mr. Bansal said, “We are hopeful that soon we will rejuvenate it as well. Farmers living near this river have demanded work on this project after seeing the success of the Sot River project.”


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