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On Engineer's Day, Remembering Sir Visvesvaraya, the Builder of Dams, Modern Bridges in India

Visvesvaraya was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his exceptional contribution to the engineering of India in 1955. Besides, he was also awarded the British knighthood by King George V, which prefixed 'sir' to his name.

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Updated:September 15, 2019, 8:36 AM IST
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On Engineer's Day, Remembering Sir Visvesvaraya, the Builder of Dams, Modern Bridges in India
File image of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.

Engineer’s Day | Every year India celebrates Engineer’s Day on September 15, the birth anniversary of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the engineering pioneer of India. Fondly known as Sir MV and the builder of India, Visvesvaraya was born on this day in 1860 in a small village of Muddenahalli, near present-day Bengaluru.

Visvesvaraya was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his exceptional contribution to the building of India in 1955. Besides, he was also awarded the British knighthood by King George V, which prefixed 'sir' to his name.

Sir MV’s engineering genius reflected in channeling of water resources and construction and consolidation of dams across India. Besides, his outstanding planning skills not just bolstered irrigation facilities in India, but also saved thousands of people from ravaging floods.

During his stint as the Diwan of Mysore between 1912 to 1918, Visvesvaraya revamped the state into what was then came to be known as “model state”. He was also called the “Father of Modern Mysore”.

Visvesvaraya invented the block system, automated doors that close the water overflows and designed and patented the floodgates. These floodgates were installed at the Khadakwasla reservoir in Pune for the first time in 1903.

In the early 20th century, Visvesvaraya became the chief engineer of the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam project in Mysore, which was then the biggest in Asia. In 1909, the master-builder was appointed as the special consultant engineer to make Hyderabad flood-proof in the face of approaching floods. His work even prevented Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.

In 1917 in Bengaluru, Visvesvaraya established Government Engineering College, which was later renamed as University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering.

India's engineer prodigy breathed his last on April 14 in 1962, five months short of his 102nd birthday.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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