Anurag Tewari: the water man of Bidar

Anurag Tewari   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Anurag Tewari, the 36-year-old IAS officer who was found dead near a guest house in Lucknow on Wednesday, had earned the goodwill of the people in his short stint of 18 months in Bidar, Karnataka.

He will be remembered in the backward district for a long time to come for kick-starting the process of rejuvenation of Karez or Surang Bavi, the medieval era underground aqueduct and ensuring it to get the fame it deserved.

Tewari’s pro-people instinct came to the fore in the summer of 2016 when the district was facing the worst drought in decades. He completed the process of cleaning and dredging of over 130 tanks and 110 open wells across the district within a few months. This helped the district immensely as it received 40 per cent more than average rainfall and all these traditional water bodies were filled.

The 500 year-old Jahaj ki Bawdi that had dried up, is now supplying drinking water to several households in the old city. Workers removed nearly 80 feet of garbage from the well. The well on Chidri road, that was full of garbage, is now the source of sweet water, thanks to Tewari’s efforts.


The added advantage of this was that farmers in the neighbourhood were allowed to take the top soil and spread it on their fields. Chief Minister Siddharamaiah was pleased with the progress of desilting work in Aurad. In a way, Tewari’s efforts inspired the government scheme of cleaning tanks — Kere Sanjivini.

Tewari tried to harness the tourist potential of Bidar by drawing up plans for development of a tourist circuit in Hyderabad-Karnataka region, equipping places of pilgrimage and creating audio visual guides for the Bidar fort.

He also initiated reforms such as full computerization of all urban local bodies and district magistrate court.

Those who knew him as a friendly officer are shocked. “It is hard to believe that he is no more. It feels as if we have lost a family member,” said Vinay Malge, convenor of Team Yuvaa, the NGO that worked with him in the cleaning up tanks and Surang Bavi.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 10:07:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/anurag-tewari-the-water-man-of-bidar/article18472703.ece

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