Vamsadhara tribunal allows AP to construct barrage at Neredi, asks Odisha for land acquisition

Bhubaneswar: The Vamsadhara Water Dispute Tribunal (VWDT) has allowed the Government of Andhra Pradesh to construct the barrage at Neredi over river Vamsadhara while directing the Odisha government to acquire land for the project.

While giving permission to the neighbouring State, the tribunal also set certain conditions for carrying out the project.

The tribunal stated that the barrage would have a right head sluice through which Andhra can draw 8,000 cusecs water and have a Left Head Sluice (LHS) to cater to the requirements of Odisha below the barrage. Odisha would have to bear the cost of LHS, the tribunal clarified.

Both the states would have the right over the water of the river, it said.

The tribunal also directed the Odisha government to acquire 106 acres of land required for the barrage and hand it over to A.P. within one year from the date of publication of the present order. In return, AP would have to give compensation to Odisha in respect to the rehabilitation of land losers and meet other expenses incurred by it (Odisha).

On the recent development, Ramesh Tripathy, former chief engineer said an agreement has been signed between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in 1961 for construction of barrage at Neredi. Some villagers residing in the left side of Neredi are unhappy over the decision as they apprehend submergence of huge tract of farm land.

The tribunal had ordered for the construction of the barrage in September 2017.However, the Odisha government had sought a clarification on the matter from the tribunal, which has come recently, he added.

Odisha has also moved the Supreme Court seeking detailed clarification on the project. The Apex court may effect some changes or uphold the tribunal order, Tripathy said.
As per the agreement, the back water would be limited within 3 km of the barrage. But, Odisha government was apprehensive of more damages due to submergence of more areas in Gunupur area of Rayagada district, he said.

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