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What are the Ken-Betwa and Five Rivers Linkage Projects and their significance

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated Rs 44,605 ​​Crore for the implementation of the Ken-Betwa River Link Project for Irrigation of Bundelkhand Region in the Budget Speech 2022. She also said that projects for detailed reports on the projects of five river connections have also been finalized. The decision ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls drew critical remarks from environmentalists as well as the opposition.

The five river links are namely Damanganga-Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Godavari-Krishna, Krishna-Penner and Pennar-Cauvery. However, the decision ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2022 drew critical remarks from environmentalists as well as the opposition.

Ecologists say an increase in human footprints in the area will cause the animals to migrate to nearby populations.

Conservationists say the law will cause habitat loss and directly undermine tiger conservation.

What is the Ken-Betwa Linkage Project?

The Ken-Betwa Rivers Interconnection Project received the green light from the Union Cabinet in December last year.

The project involves the transfer of water from Ken to the Betwa River through the construction of the Daudhan Dam and the canal connecting the rivers.

According to the government, the project will pave the way for greater interconnection of river projects in India.

The project is structured to be carried out in two phases.

In Phase I, the Daudhan Dam Complex and its subsidiary units such as Low Level Tunnel, High Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa Link Canal and Power Plants will be completed.

In Phase II, construction of the Lower Orr Dam, Bina Complex Project and Kotha Dam will be supported.

Importance of the project:

With this project, the government aims to benefit the water-scarce Bundelkhand region, spreading to several other districts in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The project is expected to boost socio-economic prosperity in the backward region of Bundelkhand, due to increased agricultural activities and employment.

This will also help stop distress migration from this area.

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