Ken-Betwa Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Government is planning to club phase I and phase II of its ambitious Ken-Betwa inter linking river (ILR) project. The phases will be clubbed after Madhya Pradesh, one of the two beneficiary states (Uttar Pradesh in another), demanded so. It will result in revision of project’s cost. The costs for first phase was estimated at Rs. 18,000 crore and second phase was Rs. 8000 crore.
The Centre’s ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project, which had received almost all major environmental clearances had hit roadblock earlier this year after Madhya Pradesh government allegedly objected to it. The state government had allegedly warned that first phase of project would not be allowed to take off if as it has not reworked to incorporate three other smaller projects – Bina complex, Lower Orr dam and Kotha barrage projects – in initial phase. These three projects were to be implemented in the second phase which aimed to connect the rivers Ken in Madhya Pradesh and Betwa in Uttar Pradesh.
The Union Government has sorted out issues raised by Madhya Pradesh. These works will be now carried out in one phase. The cost will accordingly have to be revised. Now the whole project may be executed based on a 90:10 funding pattern between Centre and the states respectively.
Ken-Betwa ILR project
The Ken-Betwa ILR project aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken River to the Betwa basin through concrete canal to irrigate India’s worst drought-prone Bundelkhand region. On completion, the multipurpose project will benefit Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in terms of meeting irrigation, drinking water and electricity needs of people across 6 districts in the two states.
The project comprises two powerhouse of 2×30 MW and 3×6 MW each, two tunnels of 1.9 km long upper level, 1.1 km long tunnel lower level and 221 km long Ken-Betwa link canal passing through Jhansi, Banda and Mahoba districts of Uttar Pradesh and Chhatarpur, Panna and Tikamgarh districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project has received formal environment, forest and tribal clearances. The project aims at addressing water needs of dry swathes in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation is working out the funding pattern with NITI Aayog. The Ministry is pursuing NITI Ayog to change its funding pattern of Centre state share from 60:40 to 90:10 for the project as it is a special project.
- It is India’s first river interlinking project that will connect Ken river in Madhya Pradesh with the Betwa in Uttar Pradesh.
- The project was envisaged first in 1980 to transfer surplus river water to dry and arid areas of Bundelkhand region. It will help irrigate an area of 6.35 lakh hectares annually in Bundelkhand region.
- Of this, 3.69 lakh hectares will be covered in Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgarh, Chattarpur and Panna districts. The remaining 2.65 lakh hectares of area falls in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi, Mahoba and Banda districts.
- The project is estimated to provide 49 million cubic metres (mcm) of drinking water to a population of 13.42 lakh in Bundelkhand region in the two states. Besides, it will also generate 78 mega watt (MW) of power.