New Delhi: The project to inter-link Ken and Betwa rivers will be taken up shortly, notwithstanding opposition by some sections, the government said on Wednesday.
"Public hearing has been successfully done. There was huge support for this, practically no opposition. Local people are very enthusiatic about it," Water Resources Secretary Anuj Bishnoi told reporters here today while informing that execution of the interlinking project would take off shortly.
Ken is a major river that flows through Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Betwa is a tributary of Yamuna river flowing through these two states.
Touted as the first project to be taken up under the NDA government's ambitious plan to interlink rivers of the country, the project envisages diversion of surplus water from the Ken basin to the water-deficit Betwa basin.
It is estimated that the project would provide annual irrigation for 6.35 lakh hectares and supply drinking water to 13.42 lakh people. It would also facilitate generation of 78MW hydropower in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Asked about the opposition from some sections for the Ken-Betwa project, Bishnoi said "opposition has come from people who are in the habit of opposing."
Yesterday, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had said that government will take up inter-linking of rivers on a priority basis "come what may".
About efforts to control pollution of Ganga, Bishnoi said that the ministry was planning to set up 113 new national monitoring stations.