The Cabinet on Wednesday approved funding and implementation of the Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers project which aims to benefit water-starved Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh through creation of irrigation, hydropower and drinking water facilities. The project, costing over Rs 44,600 crore, will be completed in eight years.
A Special Purpose Vehicle - called Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority - will be set up for implementation of the project, involving transfer of water from the Ken river to Betwa river through construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage and Bina Complex Multipurpose Project. “The ILR Project will provide an annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares, drinking water supply to a population of about 62 lakh and also generate 103 MW of hydro-power and 27 MW solar power...The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved Bundelkhand region, spread across the states of MP and UP. It will provide enormous benefits to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of MP and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi & Lalitpur of UP,” said an official statement.
The government claimed that the project also comprehensively provides for environment management and safeguards. The Cabinet’s decision followed a tripartite agreement signed by the ministry of ‘Jal Shakti’, and the governments of UP and MP on March 22.