Ken-Betwa River linking project on 13 January 2017 received environmental, forest and tribal clearances. The NDA government’s ambitious project aims at addressing the water needs of dry swathes in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
As per reports, in the first phase of the project Ken River in Madhya Pradesh will be linked with Betwa in Uttar Pradesh at an expense of Rs 9500 crore.
Benefits of the project
• This linking of the two rivers will help in irrigating an area of 6.35 lakh hectares annually. Of these 6.35 lakh hectares, 3.69 lakh hectares will be in Madhya Pradesh and 2.65 lakh hectares of Uttar Pradesh. Districts of the two states that falls under the ambit of the project include
a) Madhya Pradesh: Chattarpur, Tikamgarh and Panna districts.
b) Uttar Pradesh: Mahoba, Banda and Jhansi districts.
• It is estimated that the project will provide 49 million cubic metres of drinking water to a population of 13.42 lakh in Bundelkhand region in the two states.
• It will also generate 78 mega watts of power.
The project was envisaged first in 1980 to transfer surplus river water to dry and arid areas.
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on sidelines of a function said, her ministry is working out the funding pattern with NITI Aayog, which needs a change in funding pattern. The change in pattern, if agreed, will shift the centre state share to 90:10 from existing 60:40 for the project as it is a special project.
Apart from the Ken-Betwa linking project, the Union Government has a plan of creating 30 such river links, which includes Par-Tapi-Narmada Link and Damanganga-Pinjal link.
Par-Tapi-Narmada Link will help in transferring water from surplus regions of Western Ghats to the dry areas of Kutch and Saurashtra. The Damanganga-Pinjal link will provide water for the Greater Mumbai.