(Bloomberg) -- India today approved a plan worth 446 billion rupees ($6 billion) to link two northern rivers to help provide irrigation and drinking water.

The plan to link the Ken and Betwa rivers that flow across the states of Madhya Pradesh and poll-bound Uttar Pradesh was approved on Wednesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, the government said in a statement. The federal government will issue a grant of 362.9 billion rupees and a loan of 30.27 billion rupees for the project, which will be implemented by a special purpose vehicle called Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority, it said.  

The project, which has been under discussion since Modi’s first term, will be completed in eight years and is expected to provide drinking water to 6.2 million people and irrigate 1 million hectares (3,861 square miles) of land, it said. It is also expected to generate 103 megawatts of hydro power and 27 megawatts of solar capacity.  

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