Anurag Tewari, an IAS officer who quenched the thirst of a parched district

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News of Karnataka cadre officer Anurag Tewari's death came as a shocker to many in Bidar. Anurag was the deputy commissioner of Bidar for a short span of one and a half years but those who worked with him recall how his efforts were instrumental in making drinking water accessible to the people of Bidar.

Anurag Tewari, an IAS officer who quenched the thirst of a parched district

A native of Uttar Pradesh, Anurag initiated the process of rejuvenating and reviving traditional water sources for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region district. Many parts of the hot district have a constant supply of drinking water to this day, thanks to deceased Anurag Tewari. Anurag tapped into the already existing but defunct water sources for Bidar. He is credited with kick-starting rejuvenation process of Surang Bavi, an underground aqueduct dating back to the medieval era.

In 2016 when the district was facing one of the worst droughts in decades, Anurag as the DC of Bidar initiated the process of dredging over 240 tanks and open wells. The process was completed within a few months and when the monsoon hit, these traditional water bodies were filled ensuring fresh water for citizens through the year. The revival of the 500-year-old well, Jahaj ki Bawdi, was a huge achievement for NGOs who worked with Anurag Tewari. The well that had dried up and filled with garbage was cleaned up and now is a source of clean drinking water for the people of Bidar.

In an attempt to help farmers while reviving water bodies, the district administrations allowed farmers to use top soil on their fields. The desilting work in Aurad was a massive success and inspired Karnataka government to launch the Kere Sanjivini scheme that was aimed at cleaning up tanks and small water bodies. Apart from ensuring water supply to the people of Bidar, Anurag Tewari had proposed plans to make Bidar a tourist hotspot and a fully digitised district.

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