Taking a cue from Polavaram Project Authority, the Centre is mulling creating a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementing the Ken-Betwa River Linking Project.
Touted as the first project to be taken up under the NDA government’s ambitious plan to interlink rivers of the country, the project envisages diversion of surplus water from the Ken basin to the water-deficit Betwa basin.
The works for it would involve the two neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
“Both the state governments have in principle given their consent for creating an SPV for the project,” a source in the Water Resources Ministry said.
Besides, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has given its nod for the holding of the Environmental Impact Assessment Study for the project, the source said.
“As part of it, a public hearing would be conducted. However, the dates for the same have not yet been finalised,” the source said.
The project would have a dam on Ken river along with a 221-km link canal.
It is estimated that the project would provide annual irrigation for 6.35 lakh hectares and supply drinking water to 13.42 lakh people. It would also facilitate generation of 78MW hydropower in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Conceived in two phases, the first phase of the project would benefit the two states, while Phase II would be confined to Madhya Pradesh.
Water Ministry sources said there are plans for implementing both phases at the same time.
The Ken-Betwa link is one of the 16 river linking proposals under the Peninsular Component of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for water resources development for which the feasibility report was prepared by National Water Development Agency.
The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project was prepared in two phases, which is 2011 and early 2014, respectively.
It may be recalled that the government has created a special purpose vehicle for the Polavaram Multi-Purpose project in Andhra Pradesh.