UP, MP seal Ken-Betwa linking project deal; environmentalists flag concerns. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoA) to begin the work of connecting the country’s first two rivers, Ken and Betwa, in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, although environmentalists said the project would be called the destruction of the Panna tiger. large without the successful restoration of the number of tigers.
The MoA was signed 18 years after the project was launched for the first time as part of the country’s largest river connection system to supply water to areas in need. Officials say the delay is due to no agreement between the two provinces on water supply in the coming months, from November to April.
The Uttar Pradesh government, which initially demanded 930 million cubic meters (MCM) of water during the Rabbi era, is based on 750 MCM and Parliament will receive 1,834 MCM water, an official from Parliament’s Department of Water Resources said.
According to the project report, 2,800 MCM of water will be diverted from the Ken basin to the Betwar water shortage via a 73.8-meter high dam raised from Ken in Daudhan in the Chhattarpur parliamentary constituency.
The report also said that the 6,017 hectare Panna Tiger Reserve and Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary will be submerged in a dam.
Prime Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said people from nine Madhya Pradesh provinces: Sagar, Chhatarpur, Vidisha, Shivpuri, Raisen, Damoh, Panna and Takikgarh, and four Uttra Pradesh constituencies – Mahoba, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Banda – would benefit from the project.
“Approximately one million hectares of land will be irrigated and 6.2 million people, especially those in water crisis in the Bundelkhand region, will have access to drinking water,” he added.
However, there is opposition to this work from the Panna royal family and the environment. “It is very unfortunate that the government and experts are ignoring the potential impact of the project on diamond mining in Panna and wildlife in the area. We will lose the world-famous diamond site, ”said Maharani Jiteshwari Judevi of the royal family in Panna.
Himanshu Thakkar, co-founder of the South Asia Network on Dams, River and People (SANDRP) said it was “unfortunate” that Central governments and governments signed the MoA on World Water Day even though the project would have been seen as a curse for water conservation.
He added saying that according to the Forestry Advisory Committee, about 4.6 million trees will be cut down to do the job. This will lead to poor rainfall in Bundelkhand which is already dry.
He said the operation would destroy the Panna Tiger Reserve, home to more than 52 toxins and many endangered vultures, including a white-tailed vulture. Of the nine species of vultures found in India, six are identified in Panna, which is running a vulture rehabilitation program.
Several committees, including the Supreme Court Appointed by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), have raised doubts about the project. An appeal against the project’s approval is pending before the Supreme Court.
Thakkar said that they are confident that this project will not get approval in the forests.
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh fears the project will destroy the environment. He wrote on Twitter that the CMs of UP and Members of Parliament will sign an agreement today to link the Ken and Betwa rivers. This will destroy the Panna Tiger Reserve in Parliament, a success story in relocation and rehabilitation. He also have been suggesting alternatives for the past ten years but alas.
Minister of Water Affairs Tulsiram Silawat said, “People should stop making politics on this issue. Governments will spend more than $ 35,000 crore on development, not destruction. It will not waste anything but bring a smile to the faces of the people of Bundelkhand. “
Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister said the project “will also pave the way for greater integration of river projects to ensure that water scarcity does not become a barrier to development in the country.”