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Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project

07 Jan 2022

Category : National Issue

Topic: Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project

Why in the news

The Prime Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP), the first project of the National Outlook Program for River Networks.
On World Water Day (March 22nd), the 2 nations signed a tripartite contract with the Center to finally implement this ambitious project.

Important points

Ken-Betwa Linking Project (KBLP):
  • The Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) is a River Link Project that aims to divert excess water from MP Ken River to UP Betwa to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand area. h
  • The region spanned two states: the Jhansi, Banda, Lalitpur, and Mahoba districts of UP and the Tikamgarh, Panna, and Chhatarpur districts of MP.
  • The agreement will include the building of a 77 meter high, 2 km wide Daudhan Dam, and a 230 km long canal.
  • Ken-Betwa is one of 30 river network projects devised nationwide.
  • The project has been postponed due to political and environmental issues.

Advantages of interlinking the rivers:

Drought Reduction: River connections provide a solution to repeated droughts in the Bundelkhand region. Hence, this development proves to be beneficial.

Benefits of Farmers:

Control farmers' suicide rates and ensure a stable livelihood by providing sustainable irrigation and reducing excessive reliance on groundwater.

Power generation:

In addition to promoting water conservation by constructing a multipurpose dam, it will generate 103 MW of hydropower and supply 620,000 rupees of drinking water.

Biodiversity and its Revitalization:

We believe that the introduction of dams in the arid areas of the Panna Tiger Reserve (MP) will revitalize the reserve's forests and pave the way for rich biodiversity in the area.

Problems caused by the project:

Due to specific environmental and wildlife concerns, such as the transmission of the project through essential tiger habitats in the Panna Tiger Reserve, the project has been approved by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and other higher authorities.
Economical: There are enormous economic costs associated with project implementation and maintenance, which are increasing due to project implementation delays.
Social: Reconstruction and rehabilitation by movement as a result of project implementation also have social costs

Ken and Betwa Rivers:

  • Ken and Betwa Rivers originate from MP and are tributaries of the Yamuna River.
  • Ken meets Yamuna in the UP district of Banda and Betwa in the UP district of Hamirpur.
  • The Rajghat, Paricha, and Matatilla dams are on the Betwa River.
  • The Ken River runs through the Panna Tiger Reserve.

National Outlook Plan for Networking Rivers:

  • The National River Linking Project (NRLP), known as the National Perspective Plan formally, is the movement of water from excess flood basins to drought/scarcity water scarcity basins through watershed transfer projects between basins.
  • As a component of the National Perspective Plan (NPP), the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 connections (16 for peninsula components and 14 for Himalayan components) for feasibility reports (FR).
  • In August 1980, a nuclear power plant was prepared for the diversion of water from an excess basin to a water scarcity basin.