13 January, New Delhi
The NDA government’s ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project has received environment, forest and tribal clearances. The project aims at addressing water needs of dry swathes in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi today, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said, the first river linking project has received the clearances formally. She said, the Ministry is working out the funding pattern with NITI Aayog. Ms Bharti said, Ministry is pursuing NITI Ayog to change its funding pattern of Centre state share to 90:10 from 60:40 for the project as it is a special project.
The phase I of the project, of linking Ken river in Madhya Pradesh and Betwa in Uttar Pradesh, at a cost of 9500 crore rupees is envisaged to help irrigate an area of 6.35 lakh hectares annually.
Of this, 3.69 lakh hectares will be covered in Madhya Pradesh’s Chattarpur, Tikamgarh and Panna districts. The remaining 2.65 lakh hectares of area falls in Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba, Banda and Jhansi districts.
The project is estimated to provide 49 million cubic metres of drinking water to a population of 13.42 lakh in Bundelkhand region in the two states. Besides, the project will also generate 78 mega watt of power. The project was envisaged first in 1980 to transfer surplus river water to dry and arid areas.
Apart from the Ken-Betwa linking project, Par-Tapi-Narmada Link to transfer water from surplus regions of Western Ghats to the dry areas of Kutch and Saurashtra and Damanganga-Pinjal link, which will provide water for the Greater Mumbai, are among the 30 such river links plan