Item - I


 Particulars of its organisation, functions and duties


1.1       Organisational History & Set Up


1.1.1    Central Waterways, Irrigation & Navigation Commission


 Central water commission is an apex technical organisation in the field of water resources development. It has attained its present distinctive place amongst the foremost technical and scientific organisations in the world through a process of gradual evolution conditioned by the growing importance for accelerated and optimum development and management of water resources and the purposeful contributions it has been making towards this end. It was in the year 1945 that the government of India vide Department of Labour Resolution No. DW 101(2), dated 5th April 1945, notified as under, the setting up of a Commission, under the name of Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission, generally known as CWINC and it was stated that:  


“The Commission will act generally as a Central fact-finding, planning and coordinating organisation with the authority to undertake construction work. It will be available to advise the Central, Provincial and State governments in regard to waterways, Irrigation and Navigation problems throughout the country. The Commission was to be a strong technical organisation designed to conduct, where necessary, surveys and investigations with a view to secure planned utilisation of water resources of the country as a whole and, in consultation with the provincial and State governments throughout the country, to coordinate and press forward schemes for the conservation, control and regulation of water and waterways and further, when so required by the Government of India, to undertake the execution of any such scheme.”


Later Dr. A.N. Khosla, ISE, became the first founder Chairman of the Commission. In November 1944, a sister Organisation namely Central Technical Power Board(CTPB) had also been set up by the Government of India, with the general responsibility of initiating, coordination and procession the schemes of power generation and its utilisation throughout the country. Like the CWINC, the CTBP was required to undertake, wherever necessary, the construction work of power schemes on behalf of the Government of India. The work between these two organisations was thus found overlapping. The Government of India therefore, reviewed the position in 1948 regarding these two organisations along with two such other bodies dealing with electricity and waterways development viz. The Electrical Commissioner with the Government of India and the Consulting Engineer for Waterways and Irrigation. Thereafter, the Government of India vide Ministry of Works, Mines and Power in their Resolution No. EL-I-201(1) dated 16th January 1948 and DW-XVI-(1) dated 16th January 1948, decided to amalgamate these four organisations into two, namely, the Central Electricity commission and Central Water-Power, Irrigation and Navigation Commission.


1.1.2    Central Water-Power, Irrigation And Navigation Commission


The Central Water-Power Irrigation and Navigation Commission (CWINC) then consisted of a Chairman and two full-time Members and such other full-time or part – time members and supporting staff as found necessary from time to time. This Commission was charged with the general concerned schemes for the control, conservation and utilisation of water resources throughout the country (except the Demodar Valley Schemes) for purposes of water –power generation, irrigation, navigation and flood control and if so – enquired, the construction of any such schemes on behalf of the Government of India.


 The CWINC was declared a permanent organisation vide Ministry of Works, Mines and Power letter No.DW-1 (25)-CWINC, dated 14th October, 1947.


1.1.3 Central Water and Power Commission (CW&PC)


 The Central Electricity Commission and the Central Water-Power, Irrigation and Navigation Commission continued to function as separate organisations till 30th May 1951, when as a result of further review of their working, the Government of India vide Ministry of Natural Resources and Scientific Research Resolution No.EL-1-201 (5) dated the 21st April 1951, decided on grounds of economy and efficiency, to amalgamate these two organisations into one to be known as “Central Water and Power Commission “ with two separate wings namely  “Water Wing” and “Power Wing”, for a unified and integrated approach in coordinating and furthering the following objectives and responsibilities:-


            “the Commission will be charged with the general responsibility of initiating, coordinating and furthering, in consultation with the State governments concerned, schemes for the control, conservation and utilisation of water resources, throughout the country, for purposes of flood control, irrigation, navigation and water-power generation, as well as schemes for thermal power development and also schemes of electric energy throughout the country. The Commission will, if so required, also undertake the construction and execution of any such schemes.”


1.1.4    Irrigation and Power Ministry


The Ministry of Irrigation and Power was created on 1st August, 1952 and CW&PC became its “Attached Office.”


1.1.5    Delinking of Research Stations


Both the CWPRS and CSMRS were de-linked from the Commission; the former in the year 1978 under Department of Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, vide letter No.44/91/78-Adm.I dated 25th November, 1978, and latter in 1981, vide , Ministry of Irrigation letter No. 44/104/78-Estt.II dated 27th June, 1981.


1.1.6    Central Water Commission


The Ministry of Irrigation and Power of which the Central Water And Power Commission became a vital adjunct, was created on 1st August, 1952. However, during October 1974, following bifurcation of the Ministry of irrigation and Power ordered vide Rashtrapati Bhawan notification no. CD-873/874 dated 11.10.1974 resulting in creation of “Department of Irrigation” under the Ministry of Agriculture, the CWPC was also again bifurcated into two organisations, its “Power Wing” became the “Central Electricity Authority” and the “Water Wing” the “Central Water Commission”, which name the Commission still retains as an attached office of the Ministry of Irrigation, since renamed as Ministry of Water Resources.


1.2       Present Organisational Structure


Central Water Commission is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.  The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely, Designs and Research Wing (D&R), Water Planning and Projects Wing (WP&P) and River Management Wing (RM). Allied functions are grouped under respective wings and each wing is placed under the charge of a full-time Member with the status of Ex-Officio Additional Secretary to the Government of India.  Each wing comprising of a number of Organizations, is responsible for the disposal of tasks and duties falling within the scope of functions assigned to it.  In the discharge of these responsibilities, the Members are assisted by officers of the rank of Chief Engineer, Director/Superintending Engineer, Deputy Director/Executive Engineer, Assistant Director/Assistant Executive Engineer and other Engineering and Non-Engineering officers and supporting staff working in the various field organizations and at HQ.  There is a separate Human Resources Management Unit headed by a Chief Engineer, to deal with Human Resources Management & Development, Financial Management, Training and Administrative matters of the Central Water Commission. National Water Academy is located at Pune for training of Central and State in-service engineers, which functions directly under the guidance of the Chairman.  Broad functional areas of Chairman and Members are:-




Head of the Organization – Responsible for overseeing the various activities related to overall planning and development of surface water resources of the country.


Member (Water Planning & Projects)


Responsible for overall planning and development of river basins, national perspective plan for water resources development in accordance with the National Water Policy, techno-economic appraisal of Water Resources Projects and assistance to the States in the formulation and implementation of projects, monitoring of selected projects for identification of bottlenecks to achieve the targeted benefits, preparation of project reports for international assistance, environmental aspects, issues related to construction machinery of projects, application of remote sensing technologies in water resources etc.


Member (Designs & Research)


Responsible for providing guidance and support in planning, feasibility studies, standardization and designs of river valley projects in the country, safety aspects of major and medium dams, hydrological studies for the projects, coordination of research activities etc.


Member (River Management)


Responsible for providing technical guidance in matters relating to river morphology, flood management, techno-economic evaluation of flood management schemes, collection of hydrological and hydro-meteorological data, formulation of flood forecast on all major flood prone rivers and inflow forecasts for selected important reservoirs, investigation of irrigation/hydro-electric/multipurpose projects, monitoring of major and medium projects with regard to Command Area Development etc.


1.2.1    Broad Functions


CWC is charged with the general responsibility of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation with the State Governments concerned, schemes for the control, conservation and utilization of water resources in the respective state for the purpose of flood management, irrigation, navigation, drinking water supply and water power generation. The Commission, if so required, can undertake the construction and execution of any such scheme.


In exercise of the above responsibilities following are the broad main functions of CWC:


-           To undertake necessary surveys and investigations as and when so required, to prepare designs and schemes for the development of river valleys in respect of power generation, irrigation by gravity flow or lift, flood management, environmental management, rehabilitation and resettlement, soil conservation, anti-water logging measures, reclamation of alkaline and saline soils, drainage and for drinking water supply;


-           To undertake construction work of any river valley development scheme on behalf of the Government of India or State Government concerned;


-           To advise and assist, when so required, the State Governments (Commissions, Corporations or Boards that are set up) in the investigation, surveys and preparation of river valley and power development schemes for particular areas and regions;


-           To advise the Government of India in respect of Water Resources Development, regarding rights and disputes between different States which affect any scheme for the conservation and utilization and any matter that may be referred to the Commission in connection with river valley development;


-           To advise the Government of India and the concerned State Governments on the basin-wise development of water resources;


-           To advise the Government of India with regard to all matters relating to the Inter-State water disputes;


-           To collect, coordinate the collection of, publish and analyse the data relating to tidal rivers, rainfall, runoff and temperature, silting of reservoirs, behaviour of hydraulic structures, environmental aspects etc. and to act as the Central Bureau of Information in respect of these matters;


-           To collect, maintain and publish statistical data relating to water resources and its utilization including quality of water throughout India and to act as the Central Bureau of Information relating to water resources;


-           To initiate schemes and arrange for the training of Indian Engineers in India and abroad in all aspects of river valley development;


-           To standardize instruments, methods of observation and record, materials for construction, design and operation of irrigation projects;


-           To initiate studies on socio-agro-economic and ecological aspects of  irrigation projects for the sustained development of irrigation;


-           To conduct and coordinate research on the various aspects of river valley development schemes such as flood management, irrigation, navigation, water power development etc., and the connected structural and design features;


-           To promote modern data collection techniques such as remote sensing technology for water resources development and river forecasting and development of computer softwares;


-           To conduct studies on dam safety aspects for the existing and future dams and standardize the instruments for dam safety measures;


-           To initiate morphological studies to visualise river behaviour, bank erosion/coastal erosion problems and advise the Central and State Governments on all such matters;


-           To conduct experiments, research and to carry out such other activities as will promote economic and optimum utilization of water resources; and


-           To promote and create mass awareness in the progress and achievement made by the country in the water resources development, use and conservation.


1.2.2    Regional Offices


In order to achieve better management in the Water Resources Sector and have better coordination with State Government departments, CWC has established regional offices.  It has 13 regional offices, each headed by a Chief Engineer. The offices are located at Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna, Shillong, Siliguri and Gandhi Nagar.  In addition, for training of Central and State in-service engineers, CWC also has a National Water Academy located at Pune.


1.3       Rules of Business of Central Water Commission


1.      The Central Water Commission shall consist of Chairman and all full time Members.


2.      Each Member shall be in-charge of the subjects allocated to him by the Chairman from time to time. However, when any Member is absent, on leave, deputation, etc., his work shall be distributed among the Member(s)/officers by the Chairman.


3.      The business of the Commission shall be transacted by the following methods;


i)              By discussion at meetings of the entire Commission;

ii)             By circulation of the case to the Members & Chairman;

iii)           By consultation with the Chairman by the Member(s) concerned; and

iv)           By the Member concerned in respect of matters not detailed in Rule 4 below.


4.      The cases required to be disposed of by such method mentioned in clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of Rule 3 be as follows;


i)        By Discussion


a)      Matters relating to the Commission as a whole will be discussed at meetings of the Commission.


b)      Plans in respect of unified development of river basin including flood control and hydro-electric power generation.


c)      Any matter on which the Chairman or member desires a decision or direction of the Commission. If the Chairman is unable to be present at a meeting of the commission, the senior most Member present in the meeting will act for him and shall have all the powers of the Chairman at that meeting, provided that, in respect of any specific decision arrived at in such a meeting, the Chairman may direct that no action shall be taken thereon and that the said decision should be reconsidered at a meeting at which he is present.  When business is to be transacted by discussions at a meeting of the entire Commission, the quorum for such a meeting shall be three. The decision of a majority of the Members will be the decision of the Commission; a dissentient Member or Members or the Chairman having the right to have a separate note (s) of dissent recorded. In case of a tie, the Chairman will have a casting vote.


ii)       By Circulation of the Case to members and the Chairman


Any matter in regard to which the Chairman or a Member desires a decision or direction of the Commission.


iii)     By Consultation with the Chairman by the Member (s) Concerned


a)      Matters not relating to the Commission as a whole but relating to more than one Member will be discussed and finalized between the Members concerned or by the members concerned with the Chairman.


b)      Requests from other Ministries and Departments of the Government of India for undertaking work not connected directly with Irrigation and Power.


5.      Cases not falling under any of the headings mentioned in Rule 4 will be disposed of by the Member concerned.


6.      Papers necessary for consideration of a case falling under rule 4 above.


All cases referred to in rules 4 (i) and (ii) above shall be referred to the Secretary, CWC who shall act as Secretary to the Commission (herein-after called the Secretary) alongwith a summary of the case giving facts of the case, point or points for discussion and the recommendations of the member-incharge. The Secretary shall process the case further.


(Extract of CWC ID No. 1/3/77-O&M&WS dated 28.8.81)