India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the budget for year 2022-23 on February 1, 2022. The budget clearly displayed a strong focus on developing a robust infrastructural framework for India. 

In an effort to increase India’s water security, the finance minister announced an allocation of INR 44,605 crore for the implementation of Ken Betwa Linking project. The Ken Betwa Linking project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers. The project is being implemented to transfer water from both tributaries of the Yamuna- the Ken River to the Betwa River. The Ken-Betwa Link Canal is estimated to 221 kilometres long, including a 2-kilometre-long tunnel.

This project would provide irrigation benefits to 9 lakh hectare farmland, drinking water to 62 lakh people. Additionally, the project will also aid in generating 103 megawatt of hydropower and 27 megawatt of solar power.

According to earlier reports, the Ken Betwa Linking project is divided into two phases consisting of mainly four components. Phase-1 of the project will involve one of the components — Daudhan Dam complex and its subsidiary units like Low Level Tunnel, High Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa Link Canal and power houses. Whereas Phase-II of the Linking project will involve three components — Lower Orr Dam, Bina Complex Project and Kotha Barrage. 

According to the Jal Shakti Ministry, the project will prove to be highly beneficial to many water starved regions and would help in addressing the issue of water scarcity in the country.  In a recent statement by the Jal Shakti Ministry, the commented- “It will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor for development in the country.”