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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Ken-Betwa Rivers Linking Project
Sep 05, 2015

Nearly 40 years after it was conceived, India will finally launch its ambitious river interlinking project to irrigate parched farmlands and generate power. 

The 30-link project would start with the linking of Ken and Betwa rivers to provide irrigation facility to water-deficient Raisen and Vidisha districts of central Madhya Pradesh.

  • The two rivers that constitute Phase 1 and 2 of the project flow through MP and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Estimated to cost more than Rs 7,600 crore, the Ken-Betwa link will facilitate the annual irrigation of 4.46 lakh hectares of land--three times the size of Delhi.

  • National Water Development Agency (NWDA), which has been entrusted with the project has finalises detailed project report and other formalities. The agency falls under the ministry of water resources.

  • Initially mooted in the early 1980s, the project was actively taken up by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was then challenged in the Supreme Court, which finally gave the nod in 2013.

  • The project received a renewed push under Narendra Modi government who set up a special committee to monitor its execution in September last year. A separate task force was also constituted in April this year.


  • The project was allotted Rs 100 crore in 2014-15 to expedite preparations of detailed project reports (DPRs).

  • An area of 127,000 ha in the Raisen and Vidisha districts of Madhya Pradesh will be benefited. Also, the annual irrigation to 47,000 ha will be en route to the drought-prone Chhatarpur and Tikamgarh districts of Madhya Pradesh, and Hamirpur and Jhansi districts of Uttar Pradesh.

  • The first stage of the project involves transferring 591 million cubic meters (mcm) of surplus water in the Ken basin through a 231.45-km canal to the Betwa river.

  • It also includes the construction of Daudhan dam and a small hydroelectric plant in the middle of the Panna Tiger Reserve, one of the country's most successful tiger reserves.

  • The Rs 9,393-crore project involves 9,000 hactare land, half of which is wooded. If the project is cleared, 10 per cent of the tiger reserve will be taken away.

  • The project is expected to generate 34,000 megawatts of power and raise the ultimate irrigation potential from 140 million hectares to 175 million hectares.

Construction on the Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada links in Gujarat and Maharashtra and the second phase of the Ken-Betwa link could also start very soon with detailed project reports already completed.

The entire project was estimated at Rs 5.6 lakh crore 10 years ago but officials say it may cost much more. The final sum would be known once the detailed reports for all 30 links are complete. 

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