A. C. Kamaraj, an eminent engineer and expert in water management, has evolved the formation of a system by the name Gangai Kumari National Waterways which overcomes many of the demerits noticed in the previous schemes proposed by senior engineers of National Water Development Agency for solving water problems in the south.
Engineer A.C. Kamaraj comes from a farmer’s family with a rural background. He had a high academic career with Hons in Engineering from Annamalai University. He did his higher studies, F.I.E., in London, and toured extensively in USA, Canada and Europe.
He was directly recruited in Tamil Nadu PWD and gained good experience in irrigation and water management including construction of buildings and dams. After two decades in PWD, he resigned to be a freelance. He was also the head of the civil department, Government Polytechnic, Madurai, and Professor, Regional Engineering College, Trichy. His experience covers the construction of dams, water management and regulation, flood control, redesigning a canal in Tambaraparani system and Arignar Anna Cancer Institute at Kancheepuram resulting in high cost reduction.
He is currently Member, Expert Committee on Interlinking of Rivers, Government of India, and Chairman, NAWAD TECH, Smart Waterways Foundation, India.
His zeal to see India flourish and to see her free from poverty has made him work intensely for mega projects like national waterways. He has been working on this project for the last one decade. On the Ganga-Kumari National Waterways Project, Kamaraj said, “When I was in charge of water regulation in Thamirabarani basin in Tamil Nadu, the farmers were experiencing many difficulties in getting water for their farms. This made me involve and support interlinking of rivers for many years. However, after realising the inherent problems in ILR and reluctance of many states like Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala etc., I felt the need for inventing a viable, economic and acceptable proposal for states and thus conceived smart waterways or Ganga-Kumari National Waterways Project.”
Since this is an innovative concept many find it difficult to understand the project. Kamaraj has been invited to give a keynote address on this subject at a three-day conference in Canada on April 2014. The project has already been approved by the Government of Tamil Nadu, he said.