Tribute : Expert on water issues calls it a day

Water expert Mohanakrishnan

Mohanakrishnan has served State government for six decades

Located in the southwest corner of the sprawling Government Museum campus in Egmore, the old single-storeyed building, used as the residence of the Museum Superintendent during the British Raj days, may give to any onlooker the impression that it is an abandoned and lifeless structure.

But, in the last 20 years or so, the building, housing the office of the State government’s Cauvery Technical Cell (CTC), has been a vibrant hub of in-depth discussions on matters concerning not just the vexatious Cauvery dispute but also the entire gamut of the State’s water resources.

The person who has played a lead role in ensuring that the building is full of life is former CTC chairman A. Mohanakrishnan. On Monday, the 86-year-old engineer was formally relieved of the government service after having been part of the administration for 64 years, six months and eight days.

He had some chest infection and died of old age. He breathed his last at 4.10 p.m. on Sunday,” his son A.M. Muralidharan said. The funeral procession would start from his Anna Nagar residence at about 1 p.m. on Monday.

Mohanakrishnan served as the Chairman of the Cauvery Technical Cell (CTC) since its formation in 1990 till December 2012, and continued to be an Advisor for the Water Resources Department thereafter. It was during his tenure that the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal gave its verdict in 2007, allocating 419 TMC feet of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu every year.

“He was a thorough gentleman. He was our guru on various issues. He served under different Chief Ministers and offered advice on various projects. He was the man behind many water projects in Tamil Nadu. It was him who invited me to join the CTC in 2002,” said R. Subramanian, Chairman, Cauvery Technical Cell.

Association with dams

An alumnus of the renowned Guindy College of Engineering of the 1948 batch, Mr. Mohanakrishnan, on graduation in civil engineering, had joined the government service as supervisor. Two years later, when he took the Public Services Commission examination, he emerged a topper, just as he did in the engineering degree course. Mohanakrishnan was associated with several dam projects in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mohanakrishnan served the Water Resources Department until his superannuation in 1984. Thereafter, he served for a few years as the Director of Irrigation Management Training Institute, which he was instrumental in setting up.

When the Cauvery Technical Cell was constituted in 1991, Mr. Mohanakrishnan was the natural choice to head the body.

Mohanakrishnan had also taught at the Anna University briefly. “He has authored many books on the history of various projects and his understanding on water-related issues was immense,” Mr. Subramanian added.

Ref :  The Hindu

One Response to Tribute : Expert on water issues calls it a day

  1. Krishna Kumar Agrawal says:

    Such persons of long service experience in Govt.- whether state or Center – need to utilised for good of the Society & state at large and be encouraged to develop and train their knowledge ambassadors or successors to carry their work forward. I also feel strongly on two points. One, the Academia & Industry (at large) should come together for periodical review & updating of course contents, teaching pedagogy & engg. practice as per changing needs of industry, to generate engineers ready for use without any further training for Industry is never ready; and academia should also be exposed to practice applications & skills. Secondly, administrative and political interface with Engineering decision making should be objectively monitored for ensuring that the latter donot suffer. These suggestions are of contemporary application in view of present prevailing conditions. Trigger to suggestion is case of Mr. Mohanakrishnan’s demise.
    I am 76, a very senior Civil Engineer with Govt. & Private sector experience and am propagating on the change of teaching Civil Engg. in all institutions on one hand and ‘holistic development of rural sector & agriculture’ promoting compulsory education to all, translating research for field application, employment to all, skill developement and housing to all, nothing free and zero tolerance for corruption and non work, with severe Punishment provisions, without delay. Any one interested is welcome to approach for proposals in detail, by email.

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