The Ken-Betwa river interlinking project is presently under the consideration of Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and its report is awaited, the government today said.
“The Ken-Betwa river interlinking project is under consideration of the Standing committee of NBWL,” Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
He said that the SC-NBWL considers the proposals on recommendations of Chief Wildlife Warden and State Board for Wildlife on a case to case basis, appraises the impact on the Protected Areas (PAs) and prescribes the mitigation measures for minimizing the impact.
Accordingly the proposal was placed before the standing committee in its 37th meeting held on February 26 this year.
It was decided to constitute a committee comprising two members of NBWL, representatives of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), state governments and user agency to conduct a site visit and submit a report on the impact of project on habitat and wildlife of Panna Tiger Reserve.
“The report of the committee is awaited,” Dave said adding that no decision has been taken on the proposal.
Earlier, a green panel had said that the Centre’s ambitious Rs 9,393 crore Ken-Betwa river interlinking project will impact “very significantly” the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and had suggested that the issue needs to be studied more carefully before granting final green signal.
Water Resources minister Uma Bharti had recently said that there are 21 river-linking projects in the pipelines, of which Ken-Betwa project was in advanced stage of implementation while action has been taken on five more such projects.
The ambitious river-linking projects will be implemented only in those states which favoured it while those opposed would be left out, the government had said recently.