Costs for executing the Ken-Betwa river-linking project is likely to escalate with the Union Water Resources Ministry planning to integrate phase-I and II of the Centre’s ambitious project. The two phases of the project will be clubbed after Madhya Pradesh, one of the two beneficiary states, requested that it be made into a single phase project. The costs for the first phase was estimated at Rs 18,000 crore and the second phase at Rs 8000 crore.
The project aims to connect the rivers Ken in Madhya Pradesh and Betwa in Uttar Pradesh. Sources in the Water Resources Ministry said that Madhya Pradesh had expressed confidence that it will be able to irrigate more land under the river-linking project even if the water allocation between the two states remains the same. “MP had earlier indicated that 2.87 lakh hectares could be irrigated through micro-irrigation projects, but recently decided to add an extra 1.6 lakh hectares to its plans,” a source said. “This will see revisions in costs and will require some additional environment clearances to be procurred. The issues raised by the state have nearly been sorted out.”