Take up Ken-Betwa linking on mission mode: Minister tells States

Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat on Wednesday urged stakeholders to take up Ken-Betwa river-linking project, first such attempt of connecting rivers in the country, on “mission mode” so that work on the same could commence at the beginning of next year.

Mr. Jat, who chaired seventh meeting of special committee for inter-linking of rivers here on Wednesday, also assured that interests of both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, from where the two rivers to be linked pass, will be “fully” protected when the project will be undertaken.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry, Mr. Jat also informed the meeting that Madhya Pradesh State wildlife board has given environmental clearance to the project and recommended it to Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

He said the State wildlife board has forwarded its clearance of the project to National Board of Wildlife recommending nod to the project.

The Minister informed phase I of the project will benefit districts of Mahoba, Jhansi and Banda in Uttar Pradesh, besides Madhya Pradesh’s Chattarpur, Panna and Tikamgarh.

A total of more than 6.30 lakh hectares of land will be irrigated in these districts under the first phase.

Mr. Jat stated that inter-linking of rivers is being supervised by Supreme Court and “hence, no one should doubt the integrity of Centre on this issue”.

Mr. Jat’s statement comes in the wake of Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti stating two days ago that work on the project will begin in January-February and that preparations for the same have been completed. - PTI

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