In a major move, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the 44,605 crore Ken-Betwa river link project which would provide irrigation to 10.62lakh hectares and drinking water to over 62 lakh people.
The project, proposed to be implemented in 8 years with state of the art technology, would boost socio-economic prosperity in the backward Bundelkhand region on account of increased agricultural activities and employment generation and would help in arresting distress migration from this region, said a senior officer of the Jal Shakti Ministry.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the central support of Rs.39,317 crore for the project, covering a grant of Rs.36,290 crore and a loan of Rs.3,027 crore. “The project would also pave the way for more interlinking of river projects in India and also showcase to the world our ingenuity and vision,” the officer said.
This project involves the transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa River through the construction of the Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage -and Bina Complex Multipurpose Project. The project would provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares, drinking water supply to a population of about 62 lakhs, and would also generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW solar power.
The Project would be of immense benefit to the water-starved Bundelkhand region, spread across the states of MP and UP. This project would also provide enormous benefits to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri, and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi & Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.
The historic agreement to implement the major centrally driven river interlinking project was signed in March 2021 by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The agreement heralds the beginning of inter-state cooperation to carry water from areas that have surpluses to drought-prone and water deficit areas, through the interlinking of rivers.