|Statue of Sir Arthur Cotton. Dowleswaram Barrage, Andhra,India dreamvacationsindia.wordpress.com|
General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton KCSI (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) was a British general and irrigation engineer.
|Dowleswaram Barrage near Rajahmundry on River Godavari, Andhra. en.wikipedia.org/wik|
Arthur Cotton was the first engineer who conducted a marine survey of the Pamban passage between India and Ceylon where
the famous Pampan railway draw bridge stands now near Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. Even to day it is an engineering marvel and a tourist attraction connecting the mainland and Rameswaram island. In the Kallanai - Grand Anaicut built by the great Chola king Karikala Cholan in the 2nd century (the oldest water-diversion or water-regulatory structure in the world), silting was a main problem. Cotton came up with some suggestions to remove the silting and increase the flow of water and storage capacity. Appreciating the great monumental work of the great Chola king and using it as a model, he had built the Upper Dam (Upper anicut) across the Cauvery in Mukkombu near Tiruchirapalli city, Tamil Nadu. The Krishna and Godavari dam projects in the present day Andhra were based on the models of Kallanai and and the upper dam across the Cauvery. The work on the Godavari Anicut started in 1847 and completed at Dowleswaram in 1852. He was instrumental in building an Aqueduct on the Krishna River that was completed by 1855.
In 1840s' itself he had prepared plans for Visakhapatnam port based on the location, geography and depth of the bay in that region. In 1858, Arthur cotton had an ambitious plan to interlink all rivers and canals in the state of Odisa as part of drought relief measures.
Having retired from services in 1860, he was knighted in 1861 and left India for his native place. Subsequently he visited India and advised the authorities on some river valley projects that would be beneficial to the Indians. He is still a much revered figure in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for his contribution to irrigation in the delta regions and other areas.
A new barrage was built across the Godavari upstream side of the Anicut and was aptly named after Sir Arthur Cotton for his distinguished services in India. The barrage was dedicated to the Nation by the Honorable Prime Minister of India, late Indira Gandhi in 1982 in honor of Sir. Arthur Cotton.
Tit Bits: The other side of the story is if you are honest, sincere and dedicated to your work, sometimes you will get into trouble. Being gentle, humane and a true Christian in spirit and action, Sir Cotton was very kind to the natives and understood their problems regarding water management, droughts, agriculture, etc and tried to mitigate them in his capacity as a well-known engineer. He was a true Christian and used to attend the Church of the Godavari Delta Mission at Rajahmundry, now a big city in Andhra. Unfortunately he earned the ire of the jealous British officials and faced near impeachment proceedings. His pioneering work across the Godavari river mitigated the ravages of famine and cyclones that affected the people of Godaveri.
About his Godaveri projects in 1878, Cotton had to appear before a House of Commons Committee to justify his proposal to build an anicut across the big river. As part of the hearing, his letter to the then Secretary of State for India reveals his ambition to build the anicut across the Godavari. His letter concluded:
"My Lord, one day's flow in the Godavari river during high floods is equal to one whole year's flow in the Thames of London". Cotton was almost disappointed by the British Government's careless delay in implementing the project.
Sir Arthur Cotton's name will be remembered by every Indian till the world comes to an end. People of India loved him so much the Pindaparadhanam (pinda) was offered as homage as per the Hindu tradition to Arthur Cotton during 2015 Godavari Maha Pushkaram by Palakollu MLA Nimmala Ramanaidu.
|The tomb of General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton KCSI (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) en.wikipedia.org|
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Cotton Educational Services. p. 4. ISBN 81-206-1829-7