Bhopal: Finance Minister announces a package of Rs 44,604 crore for Ken-Betwa linking project

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In her budget statement on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a package of Rs 44,605 crore for the long-awaited Ken-Betwa connecting project.

The project will irrigate 9 lakh hectares of farmland, provide drinking water to nearly 62 lakh people, and generate 103 MW of hydropower and 23 MW of solar power.

This is the country’s first large-scale initiative under the National River Linking Project (NRLP). The project will offer Bundelkhand’s future a new direction.

For the purpose, an agreement between the Jal Shakti ministry and Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh governments was signed a couple of months ago.

The project will benefit to the water-starved region of Bundelkhand- Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of MP and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of UP.

It will also pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor for development in the country.

The reservoir involves a submergence of 9,000 hectares area, out of which 5,803 hectares comes under Panna Tiger Reserve.

The latter includes 4,141 hectares of forest area, which is about 7.6 per cent of the total Panna Tiger Reserve area.

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