AURANGABAD: After Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) and National Law University, the state-level irrigation commissionerate is set to become reality with formal operations of the key government establishment set to begin on Monday.
The establishment, which is scheduled to be headed by IAS-level officer, is expected to help Marathwada in overcoming irrigation backlog, besides bringing in more organised approach in the functioning of state irrigation department.
The Water And Land Management Institute (WALMI) here has been identified as the headquarter for the irrigation commissionerate.
The commissionerate, as announced by the minister, is expected to have staff of 187 including one IAS-level officer to oversee the operations in addition to three joint commissioners, eight deputy commissioners and one joint director for account section.
Establishing a commissionerate has berought about a positive atmosphere in the city and the region as a whole as the move has come close on the heels of setting up of POPSK and National Law University.
Sharad Advant, general secretary of Marathwada Janta Vikas Parishad, said, “It is heartening to see pending projects come alive one-by-one.”
“The region was neglected for long on different fronts, which hampered its development in many ways. Having irrigation commissionerate headquartered at Aurangabad will help in carrying out advocacy and following different demands easily,” he said.
Water management expert Pradeep Purandare said irrigation commissionerate should come into place without disturbing the functioning of WALMI.
“The state cabinet has said that autonomy of WALMI would be maintained, but it remains to seen whether it would happen in real. The WALMI has earned distinction at national and international level and its autonomy must be protected,” he said.
While the formal announcement for setting up of irrigation commissionerate was made in 2015, the government had zeroed in on Aurangabad for establishing it.
The POPSK at Aurangabad was set up following the MEA and Department of Posts announced to utilise the Head Post Offices (HPO) for offering passport services at the end of March. Earlier in March, National Law University was set up in Aurangabad. Principal Secretary with higher and technical education department Sitaram Kunte was personally in town to chair a review meeting involving different government departments to give a final push to set up the prestigious institution.