What is the “Ken-Betwa Link Project”?

What is the News?

Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh signed a memorandum of agreement to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project(KBLP).

About Ken-Betwa Link Project:
  • Ken-Betwa Link Project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for the interlinking of rivers.
  • Under this project, water from the Ken River will be transferred to the Betwa river. Both these rivers are tributaries of the river Yamuna.
  • This project will spread across the districts of MP and UP i.e. Tikamgarh, Panna and Chhatarpur districts of MP and in UP; Jhansi, Banda, Lalitpur and Mahoba districts.

Source: Indian Express

Phases under the Project: The Ken-Betwa Link Project has two phases.

  1. Under Phase-I,  Daudhan dam complex and Ken-Betwa link canal and Powerhouses — will be completed.
  2. Under Phase-II, three components — Lower Orr dam, Bina complex project, and Kotha barrage — will be constructed.

Benefits of the Ken-Betwa Project:

  • Helps Drought Prone Region of UP: The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved region of Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Provides Irrigation: The project will provide:
    1. Annual irrigation for 10.62 lakh hectares area.
    2. Drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people,
    3. 103 MW of hydropower.
Concerns:
  • Biodiversity Concerns: The project might affect the Panna Tiger Reserve. Out of the 6,017 ha of forest area coming under the Daudhan dam of Ken Betwa Link Project, 4,206 ha of the area lies within the core tiger habitat of Panna Tiger Reserve.
About National River Linking Project(NRLP):
  • National River Linking Project (NRLP) also known as the National Perspective Plan aims to link Indian rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals.
  • Objective: The main objective is to transfer water from water ‘surplus’ basins suffering from floods to water ‘deficit’ basins suffering from drought/scarcity.
  • Prepared by: The then Ministry of Irrigation prepared this plan in August 1980.
  • Managed by: The NRLP is managed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Components: The plan proposes 30 river links to connect 37 rivers across India under two components:
    • Himalayan Rivers Development Component: Under this, 14 river links have been identified.
    • Peninsular Rivers Development Component or the Southern Water Grid: It includes 16 river links. Ken Betwa Link Project is one among them.

Source: Indian Express

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