Ken-Betwa River Link Project | 16 Oct 2023

Source: IE

Why in News?

The Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) recently secured final forest clearance after a significant government push. While the forest clearance is secured, the project's wildlife clearance remains under scrutiny at the Supreme Court of India.

  • The project requires two key forest clearance conditions to be met: realigning its canal and shifting proposed powerhouses away from forest land, both with potential environmental implications.

What is the Ken-Betwa River Link Project?

  • About:
    • The KBLP is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for the interlinking of rivers, which aims to transfer surplus water from one river basin to another to address water scarcity and enhance irrigation.
      • The KBLP involves transferring water from the Ken River in Madhya Pradesh to the Betwa River in Uttar Pradesh, both of which are tributaries of the Yamuna River.

  • Phases of the Project:
    • The project has two phases, with mainly four components.
      • Phase I will involve one of the components — the Daudhan Dam complex and its subsidiary units such as the Low-Level Tunnel, High-Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa Link Canal and powerhouses.
      • Phase II will involve three components: the Lower Orr Dam across the Orr River, a tributary of the Betwa, the Bina Complex Project, and the Kotha Barrage.
  • Significance:
    • It will not only accelerate water conservation by the construction of a multipurpose dam but will also produce 103 MW of hydropower and will supply drinking water to 62 lakh people.
    • The linking canal will flow through Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh and Jhansi districts, with the project expected to irrigate 6.3 lakh hectares of land every year.
  • Concerns:

What are Ken and Betwa Rivers?

  • Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
  • Ken meets with Yamuna near Banda district of Uttar Pradesh and Betwa joins Yamuna in Hamirpur district of UP.
  • Rajghat, Paricha and Matatila dams are over Betwa river.
  • Ken River passes through Panna tiger reserve.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods, and interrupted navigation. Critically examine. (2020)