River Interlinking

On 28 January 2024, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), Government of India (GoI) in New Delhi. This MoU marked the commencement of the “Modified Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal-ERCP (PKC-ERCP) Link Project,” which involves integrating the original PKC with the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project in Rajasthan. This initiative is the second project within the national perspective plan for the interlinking rivers (ILR) program initiated by the Government of India.

River Linking

The MoU was signed by Dr. Rajesh Kumar Rajora from the Department of Water Resources Development (WRD) in the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Abhay Kumar from the WRD in the Government of Rajasthan, and Debashree Mukherjee, the Secretary of the Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation in the MoJS, GoI. Notably, the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Mohan Yadav, the Honorable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhajan Lal Sharma, the Honorable Chief Minister of Rajasthan, were present during the MoU signing ceremony.

The Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, played a pivotal role in facilitating a consensus between the governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, a process that took several years. This consensus was crucial for the joint development and inter-basin water transfers within the Chambal basin, similar to the Ken-Betwa Link Project.

The groundwork for the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal (PKC) link project under the National Perspective Plan (NPP) began with the preparation and distribution of a Feasibility Report (FR) in February 2004. In 2019, Rajasthan proposed the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP), leading to discussions on integrating the PKC link with ERCP during the 11th and 12th meetings of the Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers (TFILR). Since then, the integration of ERCP with the PKC link has been a subject of regular deliberations with the concerned states.

Recognizing the significance of the Modified PKC-ERCP link project, the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers (SCILR) approved it as part of the National Perspective Plan for Interlinking of Rivers in March 2022.

The objectives of this link project include providing drinking and industrial water to 13 districts in eastern Rajasthan, as well as the Malwa and Chambal regions of Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, it aims to facilitate irrigation on a vast 2.8 lakh ha. area in both states, including the enhancement of enroute tanks. Overall, the Modified PKC link project seeks to optimize and economically harness the available water resources within the Chambal basin.

Currently, work is underway on the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Once the DPR is completed, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) will be finalized among the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as well as the Union Government. This agreement will encompass various aspects, including the project’s scope, water sharing, cost-sharing, benefits-sharing, implementation mechanisms, and arrangements for water management and control in the Chambal basin.

Pictures sourced from PIB.gov.in

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