Ken-Betwa River interlinking project

Ken-Betwa River interlinking project

Ken-Betwa River interlinking project

#GS-01 Geography, #GS-03 Infrastructure, Environment Conservation

For Prelims

Ken-Betwa River interlinking project

  • The Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken River in MP to Betwa River in UP to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
  • The water is to be transferred through the construction of the Dhaudan Dam built within the Panna Tiger Reserve and a 221 km-long canal.
  • The project will meet the irrigation purposes, drinking water, and electricity needs of 6 districts in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is expected to have an approximate cost of ₹44,605 crore at the 2020-21 price level.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Centre and the governments of UP and MP on World Water Day (22nd March 2021) for implimenting the project.
  • The Ken-Betwa Project will be the first project under the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the interlinking of rivers.
  • The project has been suffering constant delays due to political and environmental issues.

Ken River

  • The Ken River is a tributary or Yamuna and it originates on the north-west slopes of Kaimur Range in Jabalpur district and travels a distance of 427 km, before merging with the Yamuna.

Betwa River

  • The Betwa River rises in the Vindhya Range just north of Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh from where it travels a distance of 654 km till it reaches its confluence with river Yamuna.


For mains

The concerns

  • Diversion or stopping or enhancement of the flow of water into or outside wildlife sanctuaries/parks is prohibited in general.
  • The only exception to this prohibition being when doing so is deemed to be necessary to improve and better manage wildlife within.
  • A Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court was constituted to check the need in case of Dhaudan Dam.
  • The committee decided that such diversion to not be necessary to improve and better manage wildlife in the case of the Panna Tiger Reserve.
  • Additionally, the Ken Gharial Sanctuary which was created to protect the critically endangered Gangetic gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) lies downstream to the national park.
  • The proposed dam would have a destructive impact on the flow of water into and outside of this sanctuary,
  • Another concern is that the government’s plan is based on a ‘surplus and deficit’ model that is said to have little basis in science.

Source “What ails the Ken-Betwa river link project?

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