Ken-Betwa river linking project work to begin soon
   Date :20-Jan-2023

Ken-Betwa river linking project  
By Bhavana ‘Aparajita’
After two decades of bumpy ride of dispute between two states, now country’s first river linking, Ken-Betwa River Project, will soon become a reality. Work on twin states MP-UP ambitious project will begin on ground. With the Cabinet’s green signal to the project and completion of the grant process, the project’s MP stretch will witness the foundation laying ceremony next month. Exclusively talking to ‘The Hitavada’, Minister of State (MoS), Jal Shakti, Prahlad Singh Patel said, “Water issue falls under State Government’s jurisdiction. Some States have linked it with emotional and personal reasons and sharing of inter-state river water became a matter of long-pending dispute. Center has to intervene as states couldn’t reach a consensus. As far as Ken-Betwa river linking project is concerned, Now there is no hurdle, very soon the foundation stone laying ceremony will be performed. As soon as the tender process completes, work will be visible.” Atal Behariji started this mission but it faced many challenges including the inter-state jurisdiction and co-ordination, but the Modi government cleared the red tape and has expanded that mission by including five other river systems, he added. Rupees Rs 44,000 crore project is being categorised under fast track provision. As told to Parliament in Winter Session, river inter-linking projects to provide irrigation to 35 million hectares of crop land. It will also help generate 34 million kilo-watts of hydropower. Aiming to bridge the gap between water deficit and surplus areas of Bundelkhand, this project was conceptualised. Around 16 % of Bundelkhand face water deficit while another 16 % from the same region suffers flood almost every year.
The implementation of the inter-linking of rivers projects under the National Perspective Plan will give benefits of 25 million hectares of irrigation from surface waters and 10 million ha by increased use of ground water, Bishweswar Tudu, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti (Water Resources), told the Lok Sabha. This is apart from the generation of 34 million kilo-watts of hydropower and other benefits of flood control, navigation, augmentation of water supply, fisheries, salinity, pollution control and employment generation. The Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP), inter alia, envisages providing annual irrigation to an area of 1.06 million in Madhya Pradesh. It will provide 194 million cubic metres of water for enroute drinking water supply to a population of 6.2 million (4.1 million in Madhya Pradesh and 2.1 million in Uttar Pradesh) and will have an installed power generation capacity of 103 megawatts (MW), according to the water resources department. 12 districts of MP and UP will get benefit: The project will provide water to 12 districts of UP and MP of Bundelkhand. Madhya Pradesh’s Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri district's water requirement could be fulfilled with this project. Officials cited the reason for dispute that in the year 2005, it was decided to give 547 MCM of water to Uttar Pradesh for Rabi crop and 1153 MCM for Kharif crop. In the year 2018, on the demand of Uttar Pradesh, it was agreed to give 700 MCM of water for the Rabi crop. The central government had decided to give 788 MCM water to Uttar Pradesh, but the UP government had asked for 930 MCM water in July 2019, which was denied by Madhya Pradesh.