BHOPAL: Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a meeting on the Ken-Betwa link project in Bhopal on Saturday. Shekhawat will go to UP to hold talks about the project. After that, he will organise a joint meeting of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Chouhan to remove the hurdles in the project. At a joint press conference Shekhawat and Chouhan said forest and wildlife departments had given their nod for the project and only a decision on distribution of water remains.
MP wants to give 700 million cubic metres (MCM) of water, but UP is pleading for 935 MCM, Shekhawat said, adding that efforts are being made to find a way out. He was hopeful of a solution after a discussion between UP, MP and the Central Government. A solution will be found out under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and no injustice will be done to MP, Shekhawat said.
Before that, a meeting held at Mantralaya Chouhan said MP was ready to give 700 MCM water in non-monsoon season. The Central Water Commission made all technical and water project designs on the basis of availability of 6, 590 MCM water. Chouhan said if Dodhan dam accumulated 6, 188 MCM, the state would lose 400 MCM water.
Apart from that, talks were held between MP and Rajasthan over distribution of water from Sah Parvati Kalisingh-Chambal Link Project. Shekhawat has asked the officers to hold talks fortnightly to solve the problem.
The government of India announced the Ken-Betwa project in 2009. The project to be implemented at a cost of Rs 35,000 crore is located in Chhatarpur and Panna districts of MP. In April 2018, when a meeting on the project was held, MP decided to give 700 MCM water to UP. But the minutes of the meeting mentioned that MP had given nod for 788 MCM water. MP, however, objected to it. After that, several meetings were held, but solution to distribution of water could not be found.
Water tap in every MP house by Sept 2023
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat has appreciated the work on Jal Jiwan Mission in MP. At the meeting, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said water would reach every house in the state by September 2023. Work on Atal Bhujal Yojna will go on faster pace, he said, adding six districts and nine blocks have been included in the project.
The Congress government did nothing for Jal Jiwan Mission, he said. After the BJP returned to power in the state, it worked on the mission, despite the corona pandemic, he added. Now, MP is counted as one of the four states in terms of progress of the mission, and water connections were installed in 29, 68,000 houses, he said. The Chief Minister further said that earlier the number of houses with water connections was only 1.21 lakh.