‘Minor’ tiff between MP and UP holding back Ken-Betwa river link project: Minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2019

Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat   -  PTI

A minor difference of opinion between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh is holding back the execution of the first river-linking project — between basins of Ken and Betwa rivers — and a committee has been constituted to find an amicable solution, Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said.

“The project has already received all statutory compliance, but there is a small difference between the two States, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, over the sharing of water during the lean season (non-monsoon period) and we hope that this can be amicably solved soon. Once that happens, the work can happen on the project,” Shekhawat told BusinessLine.

Similarly, detailed project reports are ready for four other river-linking projects, Singh said.

Media reports quoting a central empowered committee constituted by the Supreme Court early this month said the project didn’t satisfy the requirements of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, even though the Ministry of Environment and Forests had given green signal to the project.

The Ken-Betwa linking project, at an estimated cost of ₹28,000 crore, involves construction of a 77- metre high and 2,031-metre long composite dam across river Ken near village Daudhan in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh .

Once completed, the dam is expected to provide irrigation facility to 606,980 hectares area, drinking water facility for 1.4 million people and generation of 78-megawatt hydropower. Water will be transferred through a 221-km-long link canal l which will be constructed along the left bank of the river Ken.

Ganga cleaning project

Talking about the Ganga cleaning project, spearheaded by the Ministry, Shekhawat said efforts are being made to stop flowing all untreated sewage into the river, particularly between Gangotri and Haridwar, by the end of next year, just before Kumbh Mela is organised in Haridwar. The next Kumbh Mela is expected to be in January 2021.

According to him, there are 258 projects relating to the national Mission for Clean Ganga, of which 100 have already been completed, leading to creation of sewage treatment facilities with a total capacity of 1,000 million litres per day.

All ongoing projects relating to cleaning the Ganga and its tributaries will be completed within the next two years, he added.

Published on September 30, 2019

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