Ken-Betwa River Interlinking (KBRIL) Project

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According to a recently released ‘Current Science’ study, the Ken-Betwa River Interlinking (KBRIL) project threatens the Panna Tiger Reserve.

KBRIL is India’s first river-linking project. It aims to transfer surplus water from Ken river in Madhya Pradesh to Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh. This will help in meeting the irrigation needs of the drought affected Bundelkhand region.

Key findings of the study:

  • The KBRIL project will cause submergence of a major part of the core area of Panna Tiger Reserve.
  • This reserve will have an estimated loss of 10.07% of the Critical Tiger Habitat (CTH). This is expected to cause widespread damage to the tiger and its major prey species such as chital and Sambar.

Panna Tiger Reserve:

  • It is located in the northern Vindhya Range and is the only tiger reserve in the entire Bundelkhand region.
  • Its location is important, as it is the only tiger source area, which connects the tiger population of the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. It is the third Biosphere Reserve included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves from Madhya Pradesh after Pachmarhi and Amarkantak.
  • The Critical Tiger Habitat of Panna Tiger Reserve comprises the entire area of ​​Panna National Park and part of Gangau Wildlife Sanctuary.

Critical Tiger Habitat

  • It is also known as the core area of ​​the tiger reserve. They are identified under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is notified by the state government.
  • These are demarcated areas of national parks/sanctuaries. These are preserved for the purposes of tiger conservation, without affecting the rights of the forest dwellers.
  • The largest area under critical tiger habitat in India is the Nagarjunasagar – Srisailam Tiger Reserve.

Source – The Hindu

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