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Ken-Betwa project set to take off after PM Modi bats for river linking in India

Linking of rivers is expected to offer a solution to India's flood challenge. (Representative image) (Image source: Wikipedia) Photograph: (Others)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 01, 2017, 04.39 AM (IST)

The ambitious river linking project that has been hanging in the balance for few decades is set to begin in a couple of weeks, Reuters reported today.

The project, which was aggressively pushed by the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is expected to offer a solution to ecological disasters like floods and droughts which have caused massive damage in India over the years. India is currently grappling with disastrous floods in the eastern state of Bihar and Assam.

The Ken-Betwa linking project which will connect two major rivers in north-central India is a top priority for the Narendra Modi-led government, junior water resource minister Sanjeev Balyan said.

"We have got clearances in record time, with the last round of clearances coming in only this year. We have got clearances in record time, with the last round of clearances coming in only this year," Balyan said.

But the project has seen resistance from environmentalists and social activists. The interlinking of the two rivers could submerge a portion of the Panna Tiger Reserve, environmentalists say.

A Reuters report stated that the government has obtained half-a-dozen clearances including from the forest and environment.

The report quoted sources as saying that the Union Cabinet will give its go-ahead in a couple of weeks after which the Prime Minister will flag off the project.

The Narendra Modi-led government is betting big on the viability of the project to serve as a permanent solution to India's flood woes.

Experts believe interlinking of rivers could be a boon for the farmers as it will cut down their dependence on rains for irrigation.



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