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Ken-Betwa Project First Phase Cleared by Wildlife Panel

The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) cleared Phase-I of Ken-Betwa river link project in its first meeting with new Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave as chairman.
•    The minutes of the meeting, held on August 23, was approved Monday.
•    The Rs 10,000-crore project requires diversion of 5,258 hectares of forest land, including 4,141 hectares of Panna Tiger Reserve.
•    The project was given in-principle approval in the 38th meeting of the NBWL standing committee on May 10. 
•    At the 39th meeting on August 23, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) director “indicated that the (expert) group was convinced that reducing dam height by 10 metres will result in non-availability of water for linking”.
•    The dam reservoir area will be retained as core tiger reserve with minimum activities.
•    No fishing will be allowed at the dam site.
•    No new mining leases will be allowed on tiger dispersal routes.

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