Lucknow: On the occasion of World Water Day, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments signed a historic agreement to link Ken and Betwa rivers in Bundelkhand region during a virtual function in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It is a historic agreement which will change the fate of entire Bundelkhand region in making available drinking water and provide irrigation facilities,” said the Prime Minister, after the agreement was signed by Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Modi said that it was the first revolutionary step towards ‘Nadi Jodo Abhiyan’ (Linking rivers campaign) which will go a long way in water management in the country. “The future generations will reap its benefits,” said Modi, exhorting people of entire Bundelkhand to extend all support to complete the project in stipulated time.
Bundelkhand consist of seven districts in Uttar Pradesh and six districts on Madhya Pradesh side. An agreement was signed in August 2005 between the Centre, UP and MP governments over distribution of Ken and Betwa river water. But since then no efforts were made to implement the agreement.
Speaking on the occasion, the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said signing of agreement has fulfilled the dream of former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “It will add a new chapter into an overall development of parched Bundelkhand,” he added.
It was Vajpayee who had envisaged linking river project during his tenure but, somehow, it could not take off due to water disputes between many states during that period.
Yogi Adityanth said that the agreement will facilitate irrigation and drinking water facility in Bundelkhand. The agreements will make available water from the two rivers to irrigate 2.51 lakh hectare land in Jhansi, Mahoba, Lalitpur and Hamirpur and 67 million cubic water for drinking purposes for a population of over 21 lakhs in Bundelkhand.
The agreement between the two states proposes to build a dam on Ken river in Panna district of MP. Plan are afoot to take out a 221 kms long link channel which will make available water to Betwa river near Berua in Jhnasi.