Ken – Betwa River Interlinking Project: SPV Set Up To Drive Implementation Of Rs 44,605 Crore Project

Snapshot

The Centre has constituted a Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority (KBLPA) and a 20-member national steering committee for driving the execution of the ambitious river interlinking project.

This project involves transfer of water from the Ken river to the Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr project, Kotha barrage and Bina complex multipurpose project. The project aims to address the perennial water scarcity in the parched regions of Bundelkhand region, spread across the states of MP and UP.

The total cost of Ken-Betwa link project is estimated at Rs 44,605 crore. The centre has allocated Rs 4,300 crore in the current financial year and Rs 1,400 crore in 2022-23.

 

The Centre has constituted a Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority (KBLPA) and a 20-member national steering committee for driving the execution of the ambitious river interlinking project, The Economic Times reported.

This project involves transfer of water from the Ken River to the Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr project, Kotha barrage and Bina complex multipurpose project. The project will carry water from areas that have surpluses to drought prone and water deficit areas, through the interlinking of rivers.

The project aims to address the perennial water scarcity in the parched regions of Bundelkhand region, spread across the states of MP and UP. This project will provide mutliple 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.

Upon completion, the project is expected to provide an annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh ha, drinking water supply to an estimated population of about 62 lakhs and also generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW solar power. The project is proposed to be implemented in 8 years by leveraging state of the art technology.

The total cost of Ken-Betwa link project is estimated at Rs.44,605 crore. The Union Cabinet has already approved central funding of Rs.39,317 crore for the project, through a grant of Rs.36,290 crore and loan of Rs.3,027 crore.

Earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced during her budget speech that the Centre has earmarked Rs 1,400 crore in FY 2022-23 for the implementation of the Ken-Betwa Linking Project.

“The implementation of the Ken-Betwa Link Project at an estimated cost of Rs 44,605 crore will be taken up. This is aimed at providing irrigation benefits to 9.0 lakh hectare of land, drinking water supply to 62 lakh people, 103 MW of hydro [power], 27 MW of solar power. Allocations of Rs 4,300 crore in the RE 2021-22 and Rs 1,400 crore in 2022-23 have been made for this project,” Sitharaman said during her Budget speech in Lok Sabha.

Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority (KBLPA)

According to the ET report, the secretary of Jal shakti ministry will be the chairperson KBLPA. The apex implementing agency will also comprise of secretaries from ministries of environment, power and tribal affairs. The finance ministry will be represented by the expenditure secretary.

Additional chief secretaries of the government of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Central Water Commission chairman and heads of National Tiger Conservation Authority and National Waterway Development Authority and officials from state wildlife departments will be part of the proposed KBPLA.

Inter-state agreement

On 22nd March 2021, an agreement was signed between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekwat, Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to implement the first major centrally driven river interlinking project in the country. The agreement paved way for the implementation of the project to begin.