The National Democratic Alliance government will execute the Ken-Betwa rivers (both flow in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) linking project on a priority basis, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
"The detailed project reports (DPR) of Phase-I and -II have been completed and communicated to party states," said Bharti in a written reply. The Ken-Betwa link is one of 16 river-linking proposals under the peninsular component of the national perspective plan.
The Phase-I DPR was completed by the National Water Development Agency in April 2010. Phase-II's was finished in March this year.
After the general elections, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said he would take up the Ken-Betwa linking matter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The project aims to transfer 591 million cubic metres of surplus water in the Ken basin through a 231.45-km canal to the Betwa. It seeks to provide irrigation to 127,000 hectares in the Raisen and Vidisha districts of Madhya Pradesh, with added benefits to drought-prone districts Hamirpur and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattarpur and Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh.
Under the United Progressive Alliance government, the project was put on the back burner. During his first visit to the Bundelkhand region in 2011, then environment minister Jairam Ramesh had termed the project a "disastrous" idea.