MoU signed for implementing Ken-Betwa river interlinking scheme

The implementation of this project is likely to pave the way to many river-linking projects in the country
Last Updated 22 March 2021, 15:48 IST

In the first major project under the National River Linking Project (NRLP), an agreement to implement the Ken-Betwa river link project was signed on Monday by the Jal Shakti Ministry and governments of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The agreement was signed by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhwat, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The implementation of this project is likely to pave the way to many river-linking projects in the country.

The NRLP, formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from 'surplus' basins, where there is flooding to 'deficit' basins through inter-basin water transfer projects.

The Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP) was delayed due to protest from environmentalists and failed to get green clearances. Even Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday also expressed fear that the interlinking of Ken and Betwa rivers will destroy the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

However, the Centre has been maintaining that the project would help to address the water scarcity of Bundelkhand region, the most backward region of the country.

The river-linking project involved the transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa river through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr project, Kotha Barrage and the Bina Complex Multipurpose Project.

The KBLP will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the project will give a new direction to the future of Bundelkhand.

The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved region of Bundelkhand, especially to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh, according to a Prime Minister's Office (PMO) statement.

The project will provide an annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectare (8.11 lakh hectare in Madhya Pradesh and 2.51 lakh hectare in Uttar Pradesh). It will provide drinking water supply to a population of about 62 lakh (41 lakh in Madhya Pradesh and 21 lakh in Uttar Pradesh).

The reservoir involves a submergence of 9,000 hectares area, out of which 5,803 hectares comes under Panna Tiger Reserve. The later includes 4,141 hectares of forest area, which is about 7.6 per cent of the total Panna Tiger Reserve area.

The National Perspective Plan (NPP) was prepared by the then Ministry of Irrigation (now Ministry of Jal Shakti) in August 1980 for water resources development through the inter-basin transfer of water, for transferring water from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins.

Total 30 links (16 under Peninsular Component and 14 under Himalayan Component) Feasibility Reports (FRs) prepared so far under river linking project.

(Published 22 March 2021, 13:50 IST)

Follow us on