Ken Betwa Interlinking Project
The Ken-Betwa Interlinking of river project has paved way for the linking of two rivers in two different states. You may even think , this has been announced a long time ago and why it should have a recent buzz nowadays.
River linking is always considered to be a mega project and with this , it starts the ambitious project of the 30 river linking projects in India. The Godavari and Krishna rivers have already been linked with the Pattiseema scheme in Andhra Pradesh in 2015.
The Forest Advisory Committee of the environment ministry has removed the last major hurdle to the implementation of this Rs 10,000-crore project (first phase) that has been pending for years.The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has given its clearance for the Ken-Betwa interlinking of the rivers project , paving way for the beginning of the work in the middle of this year.
This project got the clearance from the Union Cabinet in the year 2014 , yet it didn’t obtain the clearance by the National Board for Wildlife. The clearance was not given by the National Board of Wildlife because the project runs through the Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh and there were strong protests from the environmentalists and conversationalists and they were protesting against this scheme because of the impact it will impose on the National Park and the wildlife habitat. If this project gets finished , almost a part of the national park will be submerged.
Why this project of Ken-Betwa is necessary ?
- The interlinking of the river project of the Ken in Madhya pradesh and the Betwa in Uttar Pradesh is meant to create additional irrigation potential of 600,000 hectares, provide drinking water to 1.34 million people and produce 60 MW of power.
- This will be the starting focus for many other projects which are in the cards and after this project it will give rise to many projects.
- The interlinking of all the rivers in the country is a major idea and it has been shelfed for almost many years , this will open the gate for the other projects and also to the major project which is on the cards.
- It will also help in flood control , navigation , fisheries and domestic water supply.
Why this project took so long to take off :
- The major issue was the dislocation of the majority of the wildlife animals especially Tigers in the Panna National Park.
- Even though 5% of the budget have been exclusively allocated for the conservation and rehabilitation of the National Park , it must be result oriented.
- Water is a state subject and both states have to come to a amicable situation before the project has to take off. The consensus was made between the Central Government , Madhya Pradesh government and the Uttar Pradesh government.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE KEN-BETWA PROJECT :
- It is a 230 Km long canal with a number of barrages and dams connecting the Ken and the Betwa rivers.
- The only interlinking project among the 30 project which involves a National Park along the path of it’s project and also the tiger reserve will be partially submerged after the project is finished.
- It will benefit a total of 8 districts from both Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
- It will also irrigate the worst drought region in India , the Bundelkhand region and will also irrigate around 4L hectares from both the states with Madhya Pradesh getting predominantly irrigated.
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