Cabinet Nod for Ken-Betwa River Linking Project

Tags: National News

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the funding and implementation of the Ken­-Betwa river interlinking project. It is the first out of the 30 projects of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers.


  • Benefit Water Starved Districts of the Bundelkhand region of MP and UP like Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh, and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh,
  • The total cost of the project Rs 44,605 crore at the 2020­-21 price level. The Centre would fund Rs 39,317 crore for the project, with Rs 36,290 crore as a grant and Rs 3,027 crore as a loan.
  • The project involves transferring surplus water from the Ken river 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 the Bina Complex Multipurpose Project
  • The project is slated to irrigate 10.62 lakh hectares annually, provide drinking water supply to 62 lakh people and generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW of solar power. 
  • The project is proposed to be completed in eight years.
  • The project is expected to boost socio­-economic prosperity in the backward Bundelkhand region on account of increased agricultural activities and employment generation. 
  • It would also help in arresting distress migration from this region
  • The project will partly submerge the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and affect the habitat of vultures and jackals, which is the major environmental and wildlife concern hindering the progress of the project for all these years.
  • The two states signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre on World Water Day (22nd March) to finally implement this ambitious project.
  • After years of protests, it was finally cleared by the apex wildlife regulator, the National Board for Wildlife, in 2016

Ken and Betwa Rivers

  • Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
  • Ken river originates at Ahirgawan, Kaimur range near Jabalpur district and meets with Yamuna in Banda district of UP
  • Betwa River arises in the Vindhya Range just north of Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh. and meets with Yamuna in the Hamirpur district of UP.
  • Rajghat, Paricha, and Matatila dams are over Betwa river, whereas Gangau Dam is over Ken river.
  • Ken River passes through Panna tiger reserve.

Benefits of river interlinking:

  • Enhances water and food security.
  • Proper utilization of water.
  • Boost to agriculture.
  • Disaster mitigation.
  • Boost transportation.
  • Rejuvenate Bio-diversity

National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers:

  • The National River Linking Project (NRLP) formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding, to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
  • Under the National Perspective Plan (NPP), the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 links (16 under the Peninsular Component and 14 under the Himalayan Component) for the preparation of feasibility reports (FRs).
  • The NPP for transferring water from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins was prepared in August 1980.

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