The much-awaited project to link Ken and Betwa rivers is ready for launch. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that people are supporting the interlinking of rivers in the country and rumours should not be spread about it.
On Namami Gange project, a flagship scheme of the NDA government to clean up river Ganga, the minister said desilting work is underway throughout the route and Plans are afoot to use silt extracted during river dredging to construct roads.
“The Ken-Betwa link is ready to take off any day… Modi ji has fulfilled Atal ji’s dream,” said Bharti during the question hour in the House.
Ken and Betwa rivers originate in Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhya ranges and flow north to merge into the Yamuna river. The river interlinking project, which received Union Cabinet clearance in July 2014, was launched during the earlier National Democratic Alliance rule under the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Bharti also talked about the cleaning of Ganga and agreed that desilting of Ganga river is a big challenge. Replying to questions in the House, Bharti said her ministry is seeking the involvement of Transport and Highways ministry to use the silt for road construction. She said instead of carrying silt to far-off places using heavy trucks, it would be better if the waste can be used as a construction material to build highways.
Her junior minister Sanjeev Balyan said the government will follow the recommendations of the Madhav Chitle committee by going for scientific desilting of rivers with the assistance of state governments.
“On the request of State Government of Bihar, a Central team led by Secretary and experts visited the State on June 5 this year and held discussions with State Government officials. An aerial survey of the reach of river Ganga from Buxar to Farakka was carried out by the Central team,” said Bharti in a reply.