A board at the Bhusour gate of the Panna Tiger Reserve announcing the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project. Credit: Veditum-SANDRP
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the funding and implementation of the Rs 44,605 crore Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers project, which will address the water scarcity in the Bundelkhand region spanning across Madhya Pradesh and poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
The Union Cabinet has approved a central support of Rs 39,317 crore for the project, covering a grant of Rs 36,290 crore and a loan of Rs 3,027 crore, information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur told reporters in New Delhi.
This will pave the way for more such projects for interlinking of rivers in the country, he added.
The Ken-Betwa project involves the transfer of water from the Ken river to the Betwa river through the construction of the Daudhan dam (the Lower Orr project, Kotha Barrage) and a canal linking the two rivers (the Bina Complex Multipurpose project).
The project will ensure an annual irrigation of over 10.62 lakh hectares of land, drinking water supply to a population of about 62 lakh and also generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW of solar power.
It is expected to be implemented in eight years with state-of-the-art technology.
“The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved Bundelkhand region, spread across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh,” an official statement said.
The Ken-Betwa project will benefit the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh.
“The project also comprehensively provides for environment management and safeguards. For this purpose, a comprehensive landscape management plan is under finalisation by the Wildlife Institute of India,” the statement said.