Why India celebrates Engineers Day on Visvesvaraya’s birth anniversary

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, who was fondly called Sir MV, was literally the builder of India, the builder of dams and water systems, to be precise, which not only boosted irrigation facilities but also saved a large number of people from floods. He was an engineering pioneer of India whose genius reflected in harnessing of water resources and building and consolidation of dams across the country. Every year India celebrates Engineer’s Day on September 15, the birth anniversary of Visvesvaraya. He went on to become India’s most prolific civil engineer, dam builder, economist and statesman. He was one of the most prominent builders of India in the 20th century. When Visvesvaraya was the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918, he transformed the state into what was then known as a ‘model state’. For his numerous industrial, economic and social projects, he was called “Father of Modern Mysore”. Visvesvaraya was also the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mysore, the biggest in Asia at that time. In 1909, when the city of Hyderabad was in danger of getting flooded, Visvesvaraya was appointed as special consultant engineer to make the city flood-proof. His inventive engineering work saved the Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion. Visvesvaraya is credited with inventing the block system, automated doors that close the water overflows. He designed and patented the floodgates which were first installed at the Khadakwasla reservoir in Pune in 1903. Visvesvaraya established Government Engineering College in 1917 in Bengaluru which was later named University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering in his honor. Due to his outstanding contribution to the building of India, the government conferred ‘Bharat Ratna’ on him in 1955. He was also awarded the British knighthood by King George V, which put the honorific ‘sir’ before his name.

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