Centre approves Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project
Union Government has approved Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi rivers of Bihar. This is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved by Central Government after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh. This approval comes after this project secured the last remaining mandatory technical-cum-administrative nod from Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
It envisages diversion of part of surplus water of Kosi river through existing Hanuman Nagar barrage to Mechi River of Mahananda basin. Mechi River is important tributary of Mahananda river. Its basin is mostly deficient in providing adequate water for irrigation.
It will give relieve large swathes of north Bihar (especially Seemanchal region) from menace of recurring floods. It will channel surplus water from Kosi River into Mahananda, thus optimizing redistribution of the surplus waters and providing it for irrigation of whooping 2.14 lakh hectares of command areas spread across the districts of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar in north Bihar.
It has the potential to usher in next green revolution in Seemanchal region. This project involves no displacement of population and there is no diversion of any forest land. Besides, no national park, wildlife sanctuary, eco-sensitive areas, etc. are present within 10 kilometer (km) radius of project.
National Project Status
Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project has not yet received coveted National Project Status. But on the lines of Ken-Betwa project in MP (India’s first Interlinking of rivers project), this project also qualifies for a ‘National Project’ status because of number of reasons, including its huge flood management and irrigation potential.
Moreover, its entire command area is contiguous to international boundary (India-Nepal). National Project status for this project will mean that majority of funding support will be borne by Central Government instead of State Government.
Category: Government Schemes Current Affairs
Topics: Bihar • cabinet approval • India-Nepal • Kosi River • Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project • Mahananda River • Mechi River • National Project Status • Seemanchal region • Union Minister for Environment Forest and Climate Change • Union Ministry of Environment