- India is finally launching its ambitious river interlinking project in December to irrigate parched farmlands and generate power.
- The 30-link project would start with the linking of Ken and Betwa rivers to provide irrigation facility to water-deficient Raisen and Vidisha districts of central Madhya Pradesh.
- The project is estimated to cost more than Rs 7,600 crore, the Ken-Betwa link will facilitate the annual irrigation of 4.46 lakh hectares of land which is three times the size of Delhi.
- The project was assigned as a priority under the Vajpayee government, now has received a renewed push under PM Narendra Modi who set up a special committee to monitor its execution in September last year. A separate task force was also constituted in April.
- The project is expected to generate 34,000 megawatts of power and raise the ultimate irrigation potential from 140 million hectares to 175 million hectares.
- The entire project was estimated at Rs 5.6 lakh crore 10 years ago but officials say it may cost much more. The final sum would be known once the detailed reports for all 30 links are complete.
Source: Hindustan Times