|Introduction: Contextual introduction.|
Body: Write some significance of Ken-Betwa River link project. Also write some challenges to its completion.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.
Ken-Betwa Link Project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for the interlinking of rivers. This project aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken river in MP to Betwa in UP. It will provide water to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand area, which is spread across two states’ districts.
Significance of Ken-Betwa River link project:
- Irrigation: The project will provide sustainable means of irrigation water to the Bundelkhand region in U.P. and M.P. It will reduce excessive dependence on groundwater. The to-be-built Daudhan dam will irrigate nearly 6,00,000 hectares in four districts in M.P. and 2,51,000 hectares in four districts in U.P.
- Disaster mitigation:The river linking project will be a solution to recurring droughts in the Bundelkhand region.
- Electricity Production:The project will generate 103 MW of hydropower and provide drinking water to 62 lakh people.
- It is critical for the water security and socio-economic development of Bundelkhand region.
Challenges to its completion:
- The 12,500 hectares of land will submergeby the project. The project would harm Panna tiger reserve. It will cause irreversible damage to around 40% of the tiger reserve’s area. Approximately 7.2 lakh trees will cut down. This will have an impact on the rainfall of the region.
- The project is not economically viable. In the past few years, the river did not always flow in a steady stream. There is a significant financial expense associated with project implementation and maintenance. It is increasing as a result of project delays.
- The Ken River flows 60-70 feet lower than the Betwa River. It requires at least 30% of the 103 MW produced power to pump the water up.
- The Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee, which had raised questions about the Ken-Betwa project, did not issue a clearance.
Government should consider multiple water-harvesting and water-conservation methods. It could adequately store and efficiently make use of rainfall the region receives annually, without the need for building a reservoir and dam.