Ken Betwa Link Project

Ken Betwa Link Project

Ken Betwa Link

This article covers “Daily current affairs for UPSC “and the topic is about the ‘Ken betwa link’ which is in news, it covers the “Infrastructure” In GS-3, and the following content has relevance for UPSC. 

For Prelims: About Ken Betwa interlinking project

For Mains: GS-3 Issues associated with Ken Betwa river interlinking project

Why in news:

  • The Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP), which the Ministry of Jal Shakti recently presided over a meeting on, is described as the national government’s “flagship project” and is “critical for the water security and socioeconomic development of the Bundelkhand region.”
  • The Union Cabinet approved the KBLP in December 2021 for Rs 44,605 crore. in this undertaking.
  • Political and environmental concerns have caused the project to be delayed.

About Ken-Betwa Link 

  • Aiming to transmit extra water from the Ken River in Madhya Pradesh (MP) to Betwa in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region, the Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP) links two rivers.
  • The region is primarily comprised of the MP districts of Tikamgarh, Panna, and Chhatarpur, as well as the UP districts of Jhansi, Banda, Lalitpur, and Mahoba.
  • The project is for constructing a 230 km canal, a 77-meter-tall Dhaudhan dam (to be erected within Panna Tiger Reserve), and a 2 km broad dam.
  • One of the 30 river interlinking projects planned across the nation is called Ken-Betwa.
  • Meaning: By building a multipurpose dam, not only will water conservation be accelerated, but 103 MW of electricity will also be generated, and 62 lakh people will have access to clean water.

Background of Ken-Betwa Link Project

  • In August 2005, the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh signed a tripartite agreement of understanding for the creation of a detailed project report (DPR), which gave the notion of connecting Ken with Betwa a significant boost.
  • The Center designated KBLP a National Project in 2008. Later, it was incorporated into the prime minister’s development plan for the region of drought-prone Bundelkhand.
  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti and the two states signed a memorandum of understanding in 2021 to implement this initiative.

Executing organization

  • The project will be carried out by the Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority (KBLPA), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
  • To carry out the project, the Link Project Authority (KBLPA) will be established.
  • For specific connection projects, the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA) has the authority to create an SPV.
  • Project’s phases include: The project has two phases and essentially consists of four parts.
  • One of the parts—the Daudhan Dam complex and its ancillary units, including the Low-Level Tunnel, High-Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa Link Canal, and power plants—will be the focus of Phase I.
  • Three parts will make up Phase II: the Lower Orr Dam, the Bina Complex Project, and the Kotha Barrage.
Ken Betwa Link Project

Ken Betwa Link

Project-Related Concerns

  • Environmental: Due to issues over ecology and wildlife conservation, such as the project’s passage through a tiger reserve’s essential habitat, Despite the project’s passage through a crucial tiger habitat in the Panna Tiger Reserve, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and other higher authorities have not yet given its clearance.
  • Panna Tiger Reserve Submergence: The National Water Development Agency states that the reservoir of the Daudhan dam will “involve a submergence of 9000 ha land, of which 5803 ha comes inside Panna Tiger Reserve” (PTR).
  • Three Wildlife Sanctuaries (WLS), namely Nauradehi, Rani Durgawati of MP, and Ranipur WLS of UP, are scheduled to be integrated with PTR in order to lessen this.
  • Economic: Project implementation and maintenance come at a significant financial expense that has been increasing as a result of delays.
  • Social: There will be social costs associated with the reconstruction and rehabilitation needed as a result of the project’s displacement.
  • They worry that the project will jeopardize Panna’s access to water.
  • Legal: The approval given to the KBLP also has substantial legal issues.
  • It has not been established that approval of the Ken-Betwa connection Project by the Standing Committee of the National Board for Species is required for the improvement and better management of the wildlife there, as stated in Section 35(6) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.


  • The project is located in the Bundelkhand region, which spans 13 districts in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and is prone to drought.
  • The Jal Shakti Ministry claims that the project will be extremely helpful to this area that lacks access to water.
  • Additionally, it will open up opportunities for other river projects to be connected, preventing water shortages from impeding national development.
  • The project is anticipated to produce 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW of solar power, as well as offer yearly irrigation for 10.62 lakh hectares and drinking water for around 62 lakh people, according to the Jal Shakti Ministry.

About the National Perspective Plan for River Interlinking 

  • The National River Linking Project (NRLP), formerly known as the National Perspective Plan, envisions the transfer of water through inter-basin water transfer projects from water “surplus” basins where there is flooding to water “deficit” basins where there is drought/scarcity.
  • The National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has designated 30 links under the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the creation of feasibility reports, 16 under the Peninsular Component, and 14 under the Himalayan Component (FRs).
  • In August 1980, the NPP for moving water between basins with water surpluses and deficits was created.

Way ahead

  • A case-by-case analysis should be used to determine whether river interlinking is necessary and feasible, with a focus on resolving any federal issues that may arise.
  • Restructure the water sector’s public-private partnerships and water prices to at least recover operation and maintenance expenditures.
  • A community-based participatory method to promote behavioral modifications and groundwater management.


Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 

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Plutus IAS current affairs eng med 27th Jan 2023

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