Ken-Betwa Interlinking Project

[vc_section][vc_row][vc_column width=\”1/2\”][vc_column_text css=\”.vc_custom_1672467447430{border-top-width: 1px !important;border-right-width: 1px !important;border-bottom-width: 1px !important;border-left-width: 1px !important;padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;background-color: #434a9b !important;border-left-color: #434a9b !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #434a9b !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #434a9b !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #434a9b !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}\”]1. Expert in the panel

  • Avinash Mishra, Advisor, WR, E&F, Climate Change, Tourism, NITI Aayog
  • Abinash Mohanty, Sector Head, Climate Change & Sustainability, IPE Global
  • C.K. Varshney, Environmentalist & Former Dean, School of Environmental Sciences, JNU


2. Reasons for being in News

The Centre has approved the implementation Ken-Betwa river link project.

3. Discussion

3.1. Introduction:

The Centre has approved the implementation of the Ken-Betwa river link project, one of the links under the peninsular-rivers component with an estimated cost of Rs 44,605 crore, with central support of Rs 39,317 crore, as informed by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in Parliament.  As per the minister, the National Water Development Agency, under the Ministry of Jal Shakti has identified 16 links under the peninsular rivers component and 14 links under the Himalayan component of the National Perspective Plan for inter-basin transfer.



It was further informed in the Lok Sabha that pre-feasibility reports of all 30 links have been completed and feasibility reports of 24 links and detailed project reports of eight links have been completed.

Further, under the intra-state link projects, the National Water Development Agency received 49 link proposals from 10 states, out of which pre-feasibility reports of 39 link projects and detailed project reports of six link projects were completed and sent to the states concerned.


3.2. Significance:

The project will provide water to the water deficit region of Bundelkhand. The water was not available for drinking and other purposes like irrigation, agriculture, etc in the region. As a result, there was large-scale out-migration from Bundelkhand.

The population of both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh can benefit from the project by transferring surplus water from the Ken to Betwa.  Around 12 lakh hectares of land can be irrigated from the project. There would also be power generation in the region due to the reservoir.

It would also provide skilled and unskilled employment during and after the completion of the mega project. Sufficient water will also trigger other economic activities in the region. As it is first of its kind project, it will also provide important lessons for other inter- and intra- state projects that are in the pipeline.

To minimize the impact of climate change the per-capita storage of India should increase. It should be noted that presently the storage capacity of India is 270 cubic metres per capita, in contrast to 1100 cubic metres per capita in China and 6000 cubic metres per capita in U.S. Moreover, in case of water deficiency, the economy of the country will be hampered by 6% of GDP.

3.3. Concerns:

It is highlighted that 64 percent of the dam that will be constructed will fall in the Panna Tiger Reserve and 46% will be in the core area. This would create serious repercussions on the tiger population which has risen to around 50 from almost zero in the year 2009.

Any construction activity of this scale and order will create dust which can degrade the environment and impact biodiversity. It will also create a huge amount of noise and light pollution which can hamper the ecosystem. The project would continue for eight long years disturbing the overall ecology of the region.

With an excess of water more activities in the region will be attracted and newer challenges will emerge. There are also apprehensions that whether the expected water would be made available or not.

Furthermore, there are concerns that whether the project is accommodative of climate change, as the project was proposed long back and the climate change impacts are gradually descending. Vast area of terrestrial vegetation will be wiped off from the region. The construction activity and camping of the labourers within the Tiger Reserve would disturb the biodiversity impacting both the prey and predator species.

The large-scale project would all facets of life, livelihood, ecosystem, economy, etc. There are concerns that many of the environmental precautions taken in the past were not adequate. For instance, in the state of Uttarakhand where climate disaster has not only impacted life but has also drastically damaged projects.

3.3.1. Measures taken:

  • The review of cost has been done for the Project considering both the risks and the climate vulnerability.
  • Apart from the dam, various other minor infrastructures in the form of tanks and ponds in and around the area are also proposed.
  • Construction would be done in a phased manner to minimize the impacts of development activities.
  • Afforestation of a similar kind will also be taken up.
  • All the concerns have been taken into consideration by the National Board of Wildlife.
  • An environment Impact Assessment has also been carried out.
  • Environment Management Plan is already under implementation.

3.4. Way Ahead:

Ecosystem mapping should be done well in advance to address the concerns. There should be caution that the other issues are not created which can have a ripple effect on other ecosystem services. Moreover, the ecosystem should be restored, rebuilt, and rejuvenated in the regions where it is impacted drastically. The Project proposals should be widely publicized for transparency and accountability.

A very thorough vegetational survey should be done before the beginning of the project for an overall assessment of the project. It should be ensured that Ken-Betwa Interlinking Project is an enviro-people-centric project rather than an infrastructure project.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=\”1/2\” is_sticky=\”yes\” sticky_min_width=\”767\” sticky_top=\”130\” sticky_bottom=\”0\”][vc_custom_heading text=\”Perspective : Ken-Betwa Interlinking Project | 10 December, 2022\” font_container=\”tag:h2|font_size:24PX|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff|line_height:34PX\” use_theme_fonts=\”yes\” css=\”.vc_custom_1672467394064{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #434a9b !important;}\”][vc_video link=\”\” css=\”.vc_custom_1672467408434{margin-top: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}\”][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top