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The Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project



  Jan 15, 2024

The Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project



Rivers and States Involved

Ken River: Originating in Madhya Pradesh, it's a central water source for the project.
Betwa River: Also starts in Madhya Pradesh and flows into Uttar Pradesh, known for water scarcity issues.
Madhya Pradesh: Hosts the origins of both rivers and key project components, including the Lower Orr dam.
Uttar Pradesh: Benefits from improved water supply in water-deficient areas.

Project Significance

For Madhya Pradesh: Enhances irrigation and water availability, especially along the Ken and Betwa rivers.
For Uttar Pradesh: Promises better agricultural and domestic water supply.

Introduction to the Project

Aims to transfer water from the surplus Ken River to the deficit Betwa River.
Part of a broader vision for river interlinking for water management and flood control in India.

Objectives

Water Redistribution: From Ken to Betwa.
Irrigation: Improving agricultural productivity.
Power Generation: Through hydroelectric plants.
Flood Control: In the catchment areas.

Environmental Compliance Issues

Lack of Clearance: Construction began without Environment Ministry approval.
EAC Findings: Noted the absence of formal clearance for the Lower Orr dam.
Progress Without Clearance: Significant completion of the dam and canal network without necessary permissions.
Recommended Actions: A new environmental appraisal and damage restoration plan.
Legal Framework: Scrutiny under executive orders for projects without clearances.
Supreme Court's Role: Currently reviewing the legality of post-facto clearances.

Conclusion

The Ken-Betwa river interlinking project is crucial for water management in central India but faces challenges in aligning with environmental regulations. Its future and effectiveness hinge on legal proceedings and compliance with environmental norms.


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