Ken, Betwa Inch Closer

First published in Sanctuary Asia, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 2011

January 10, 2011:

India first river-interlinking project on Ken and Betwa rivers in Central India has received ‘in principle approval of the Environment ministry, almost a decade after the project was conceived. The approval came after repeated requests of project proponent, Madhya Pradesh government, even though environment minister Jairam Ramesh and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had conceptually opposed inter-linking of rivers.
In the Rs 10,000 crore project water from river Ken in Uttar Pradesh will be diverted into river Betwa in Madhya Pradesh, requiring huge track of forestland from Panna Tiger Reserve. Environment groups have opposed the project saying that it will devastate local ecology, as large part of forest area in and around Panna will be submerged.

While acknowledging the environmental impact, the ministry recently approved the terms of reference, also called in principle approval, for doing preparatory work for constructing a dam on river Ken near village Daudhan and a 231 km long canal to transfer water in Barwa Sagar reservoir. Water from reservoir will be diverted into Betwa river. Read the full report here.

Source: Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi.

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