The departments have been ranked on parameters for procurement, finance, real-time data acquisition system, data digitization, analytical work, trainings and updating MIS.
In the previous ranking in 2018, Telangana had got the top slot and this year’s topper, Gujarat, was ranked seventh last time.
Gujarat has been ranked the best for parameters on efficiency targets in the review of state and Central government water departments by the ministry of Jal Shakti. Rajasthan is the third best and Delhi is among the worst performing states, according to the ranking for 2019 circulated to different state governments recently.
Among the seven Central departments reviewed, the Survey of India has got the top billing followed by the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) and Central Water Commission. The Central Pollution Control Board, the country’s pollution watchdog, has got the lowest rank, in the ranking for the year 2019.
In the previous year’s ranking, Telangana had got the top slot and this year’s topper, Gujarat, was ranked seventh last time. Delhi, in fact, improved its position by six notches by getting 35th rank as compared to the bottom 41 in 2018. Among the states that significantly improved its ranking was Tamil Nadu, which stood at 13th position as compared to 33 in 2018.
The departments have been ranked on parameters for procurement, finance, real-time data acquisition system, data digitization, analytical work, trainings and updating MIS. The agencies have been given score out of 100, and those scoring between 48 and 100 are called satisfactory; the ones scoring between 40 and 48 are moderately satisfactory; score between 34 and 40 falls under moderately unsatisfactory category and score below 34 is in the unsatisfactory category.
As the ranking is moderate considering moderate is 48 to 100 points, the water resource departments of nine states, union territories and river basin organizations have been ranked as satisfactory, 8 are moderately satisfactory, four moderately unsatisfactory and 12, including Delhi, are in the unsatisfactory category.
The states that have done satisfactory work under the project are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat SW, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra Rajasthan, Telangana and West Bengal SW. SW stands for surface water department and GW for groundwater department.
Gujarat surface water department scored 80.51 to be on top of the implementing agencies, followed by Damodar Valley Corporation with 68.24 score and Rajasthan with a score of 66.73. The other states have scored less than 50, indicating that there is a vast scope of improvement in these states to achieve the national water targets.
Rajasthan was ranked 16th in the April-May 2018 rankings. In the rankings issued in December 2019, the state has made a quantum jump and is among the states for best management of its water resources.
“Rajasthan has set up SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), a computer system for gathering and analyzing real time data…We have also set up data centres for digitization of old records. This has improved our rank,” said Rajasthan water resources department secretary, Naveen Mahajan, adding that the state got Rs 128 crore for implementing the project.
Ranking has been done under the National Hydrology Project that aims to improve drought and flood management, creating a state specific database on availability, plugging leakages in canals and dams and meteorological forecast on water resources information system.
The ranking is part of the mid-term review of the Central and the state government departments dealing with water to achieve the target to provide piped drinking water connection to every household in the next five years. Another aim of the ranking is to have a water resources information system (WRIS) for all states to create a real-time integrated National Water Information Center (NWIC).
Experts, however, said that ranking project will have impact on ground only if leakages are detected on real time basis and there are personnel to act on the alerts to be issued by the WRIS. “The states need to strengthen its workforce on ground to deliver the benefits of the system to people. The system can also help people in getting real time alerts on water related natural calamities such as drought and floods,” said a former chairperson of the Central Water Commission, who was not willing to be quoted, as he was still member of a government committee.