The Union Cabinet has cleared ₹44,600 crore for interlinking Ken-Betwa Rivers in Madhya Pradesh. The project will be completed in eight years and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority (KBLPA) will be set up for the implementation of the project.
Under this project, water will be transferred from Ken to Betwa river through the construction of Daudhan Dam as well as a canal connecting the two rivers. The Ken-Betwa Link Project will provide annual irrigation to 10.62 lakh ha agricultural land, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people. Besides, it will also generate 103 MW of hydro and 27 MW solar power. The Ken-Betwa Link Project is proposed to be implemented in eight years’ with state-of-the-art technology.
The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved Bundelkhand region, spread across Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Besides, it will provide enormous benefits to Panna, Tikamgarh, Sagar, Vidisha, Chhatarpur, Damoh, Datia, Shivpuri and Raisen districts in MP and Jhansi, Banda, Mahoba and Lalitpur areas of UP. The Ken-Betwa Link Project is expected to give a boost to socio-economic prosperity in the Bundelkhand region owing to increased agricultural activities as well as generation of employment opportunities. It would also help in arresting distress migration from this region. The project comprehensively provides for environment management and safeguards as well.
At present, a comprehensive landscape management plan is under finalization by the Wildlife Institute of India. To implement the Ken-Betwa river linking project, an agreement was signed among the Central government, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh governments on 22 March 2021 and this became the country’s first major centrally-driven river interlinking project.