Cabinet approves Ken-Betwa River interlinking project

On December 6, 2021, Union Cabinet approved the Ken-Betwa River interlinking project, ahead of elections to major North Indian states.

Key Points

  • Ken-Betwa River Interlinking project is worth Rs 44,605-crore project.
  • This project promises to address the issue of water scarcity in Bundelkhand region, spreading across Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • This project is expected to benefit several poverty-stricken regions in MP and UP.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally lay the foundation stone for this project soon.

Funding for the project

Out of total Rs 44,605 crore for the project, central government will provide the support of Rs 39,317 crore. It covers a grant of Rs 36,290 crore and a loan of Rs 3,027 crore.

About Ken-Betwa project

  • The Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project aims to transfer surplus water from Ken River in MP to Betwa River in UP in a bid to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
  • Bundelkhand region spread across the districts of two states:
  1. Banda, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Mahoba districts in UP and
  2. Tikamgarh, Panna and Chhatarpur districts in MP.
  • Ken-Betwa is one among the 30 rivers interlinking projects conceived across India.
  • This project has been delayed because of political and environmental issues several times, before getting approval on December 6.
  • Under this project, Daudhan Dam and a canal connecting the two rivers will be constructed.

Annual Irrigation under the project

This project will ensure:

  1. An annual irrigation on 1.06 million hectares
  2. Drinking water supply to around 6.2 million people and
  3. Generation of 103 Mw of hydropower & 27 Mw of solar power.

Significance of the project

This project will act as a boon to the water scarce districts of the bundelkhand region where farmers are dependent on monsoon. Interlinking will help in boosting agricultural production by area by including water intensive, plantation and cash crops in their crop cycle.

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