Tribunal allows Andhra Pradesh to build barrage on inter-state Vamsadhara river
By Express News Service | Published: 13th September 2017 08:54 PM |
BHUBANESWAR/BERHAMPUR: In a jolt to the Odisha government, the Vamsadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (VWDT) on Wednesday permitted Andhra Pradesh to construct the Neradi barrage on the inter-state river.
It also said AP can construct a side weir at Katragadda but it has to be totally plugged and made non-functional immediately after the Neradi barrage is commissioned.
Chaired by Justice Mukundakam Sharma, the three-member tribunal also ordered constitution of a supervisory committee to oversee implementation of its decisions.
Declaring the yield of the river at the Gotta barrage as 115 tmc ft, the VWDT said it would be shared by both states on a 50:50 basis.
The Vamsadhara river originates in Odisha. Since 2006, the state has been opposing construction of structures on the river by AP on grounds that its water needs would be affected by them.
In its order on Wednesday, the tribunal allowed AP to construct the Neradi barrage with ancillary structures and said it would have to get necessary clearances from the Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other statutory agencies.
Odisha was directed to acquire the 106 acres of land required for the barrage project and hand it over to AP within a year. The neighbouring state will pay Odisha all costs including compensation and other expenses.
The tribunal allowed AP to draw water from the barrage from June 1 to November 30 every year which is defined as the first crop period. Thereafter, all flows shall be let down the river for use by both states as agreed upon.
The VWDT allowed AP to draw water from the weir only up to eight tmc ft between June 1 and November 30 every year.
The gates of the head regulator of the flood flow canal of the weir shall be closed on December 1 or earlier, as soon as the total withdrawal of water equals eight tmc ft. Thereafter, the gates shall remain closed till May 31 next year.
The Neradi barrage will have a right head sluice with a capacity of 8,000 cusecs for meeting the requirement of AP and the left head sluice will meet the needs of Odisha below the barrage.
If Odisha decides to use water from the barrage for irrigation in future, the cost of the project will be shared by the two states on an ayacut basis as was agreed in the 1962 resolution by the neighbours.
In its order, the tribunal said the supervisory committee will include a chief engineer of the Central Water Commission as chairman with representatives from Odisha and AP apart from a CWC superintending engineer/director.
The committee will visit flood-affected areas of Odisha and recommend compensation for any damages caused by the backwaters of the Neradi barrage beyond its pool level. The damages will be paid by AP.