Ken Betwa River Interlinking Project

The Ken-Betwa river interlinking project agreement between the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is at the final stage.

Background

The negotiations over the project between these two states have been underway for 15 years now. It is expected that the project would benefit the dry Bundelkhand area in the two states. The river interlinking will provide drinking water to some 62-lakh people.  This interlinking project is the first among the 31 river interlinking projects of the country in order to reach the advanced level of planning.

About Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project

  • The project was initiated with the aim of transferring the surplus water from the Ken river in Madhya Pradesh (MP) to Betwa in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • This surplus water from the river will be used to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region that spreads across the districts of two states.
  • The areas include the districts of Jhansi, Banda, Lalitpur and Mahoba in UP while Tikamgarh, Panna and Chhatarpur districts in MP.

What is the need for Interlinking of Rivers?

  • India receives 80% of the water through its annual rains while the surface water for a 4-month period from June to September.
  • Thus, there is a demand supply gap of water because of the spatial and time variance in availability of natural water for irrigation, drinking and industrial water.

What is river interlinking?

  • It is the process of joining the rivers by the network of canals and reservoirs.
  • The river interlinking helps in resolving the problems of drought and flood since it maintains the balance between the water deficit and water surplus areas.
  • For Instance, Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, has interlinked the Godavari river and the Krishna river in Andhra Pradesh.

Advantages

This project will tackle the problem of recurring droughts in Bundelkhand region. In this way, the project will also curb the rate of farmers’ suicide. It will help in providing a stable livelihood to the farmers by providing them a sustainable means of irrigation. It will reduce the excessive dependency on groundwater.

Written by IAS POINT

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