People living in and around Panna Tiger Reserve oppose Ken-Betwa River Link Project

Reported by

Arpit DeshmukhLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

December 3, 2019

Location of Conflict



Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)




Madhya Pradesh



Residents of villages in and around Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh took out a protest march on 7th july 2017 against the KenBetwa river link project. The central government wants to link the two rivers, Ken and Betwa, that flow through Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to meet irrigation, drinking water and electricity needs in the water startved regions. The project is estimated to cost more than Rs 1989 crore. It is reported that the project was approved by the Forest Advisory Committee without considering any of the changes sought by environmentalists, such as reducing the height of a proposed dam. The project comprises a 231kilometre (144 miles) long canal between the two rivers as well as two reservoirs. This requires felling more than 1.8 million trees, and most of the 6,400 hectares  of forest land in and around Panna Tiger Reserve will be submerged. The project will also submerge nearly 2250 hectares of nonforest land and about 900 families, according to a feasibility report by the National Water Development Authority (NWDA). The protestors include those who depend on the forest land to earn livelihood, farmers, and those employed by the tourism industry in the Panna Tiger Reserve.  They demand that the project be cancelled.

Region Classification

Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

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Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Government of India, M.P. Government, Environment and forest Ministry

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