Centre nudging Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh on Ken-Betwa river interlinking project

News: The government has said it is pushing Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to make progress on the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project


Ken-Betwa Link Project:

  • It is one of the four priority links identified under Peninsular Rivers Component of the National River Linking Project (NRLP. It aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken basin in Madhya Pradesh to Betwa basin in Uttar Pradesh.
  • This would ensure irrigation water in the drought-prone Bundelkhand region spread across Jhansi, Banda, Lalitpur and Mahoba districts of Uttar Pradesh and Tikamgarh, Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The project was declared as a National Project by the Government of India in 2008.

About Ken and Betwa Rivers:

Ken River:

  • It is a tributary of the Yamuna River and flows through Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  •  It originates from the north-west slopes of Barner Range in Katni district, Madhya Pradesh.

Betwa River:

  • It is a tributary of the Yamuna and flows through Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It rises in the Vindhya Range, north of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh and flows north-east through Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh.

Additional Information:

National River Linking Project (NRLP):

  • The National River Linking Project (NRLP) formally known as the National Perspective Plan, aims to link Indian rivers by a network of  reservoirs and canals.
  • The main objective is to transfer water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity.
  • It was prepared by the then Ministry of Irrigation in August 1980.
  • The NRLP is managed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA), under the Union Ministry of Water Resources(now Ministry of Jal Shakti)
  • It proposes to 30 links to connect 37 rivers across India. It has two components:

o   Himalayan Rivers Development Component:  under it, 14 links have been identified.

o   Peninsular Rivers Development Component or the Southern Water Grid: It includes 16 links that propose to connect the rivers of South India.

  • Four priority links under Peninsular Rivers Component have been identified:

o   Ken-Betwa link project:

o   Damanganga-Pinjal link project,

o   Par-Tapi-Narmada link project

o   Mahanadi Godavari link project

  • In 2012, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the river interlinking programmes are in the national interest and directed the central government to pursue it.

Kosi-Mechi Interlinking Project:

  • The Union Cabinet has recently approved Rs. 4,900 crore for Kosi-Mechi interlinking project in Bihar’s Seemanchal Region
  • The Kosi–Mechi interlinking project is an Intrastate Link Project. It has been planned as an irrigation project.
  • It involves a diversion to the surplus water of the Kosi River through existing Hanuman Nagar barrage to the Mechi River of Mahananda basin.
  • This will help provide annual irrigation to unirrigated enroute area of Mahananda basin between river Parman and Mechi of Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj and Katihar districts of Bihar.

About Kosi River:

  • The river Kosi originates from Tibet.
  • It flows through Nepal in Himalayan Mountains and the lower portion through plains of North Bihar.

About Mechi River:

  • It is a tributary of the Mahananda River.
  • It originates in the Mahabharat Range in Nepal.
  • It flows through Nepal and forms the boundary between India and Nepal. It then flows through the Bihar to join the Mahananda in Kishanganj district.