SRIKAKULAM: An eight-member committee of Vamsadhara Water Disputes Tribunal, led by Dr Justice Mukunda Sharma, on Monday visited several areas along the Andhra-Odisha border, the course of the Vamsadhara river. The committee visited Gotta Barrage, Vamsadhara reservoir, proposed Neredi Barrage and other areas in the purview of Andhra Pradesh.
Prior to visiting the field area, district collector K Dhananajaya Reddy and joint collector KVN Chakradhar Babu briefed the committee on the Vamsadhara reservoir project in Srikakulam. The team visited Gotta, Bhamini, Vamsadhara reservoir and the proposed Neredi Barrage area at Katragada and inspected several on-going constructions works. A team of irrigation officials, led by SE M Surendra Reddy assisted the committee.
For record, the Vamsadhara river is an inter-state river that flows through about 265 km - 154 km through Odisha, 82 km through Andhra and 29 km through the AP-Odisha border. Andhra and Odisha states signed an agreement to share the reassessed yield of Vamsadhara at Gotta, which is about 105 tmcft. Each agreed to utilise about 52.5 tmcft.
For proper utilisation of the share, the AP started construction of a barrage at Neredi where the then CM Damodar Sanjivayya laid a foundation in 1961. Raising objections over the construction of barrage at Neredi, the Odisha government moved the Supreme Court in 1962, alleging that the proposed barrage would lead to inundation of low-lying villages of Odisha, as well as the farm fields. Similarly, the Odisha government also raised objections over the construction of Vamsadhara reservoir too later.
To solve the disputes over the Vamsadhara water, the government had constituted a tribunal. The tribunal visited the Vamsadhara project area twice earlier. The tribunal committee on December 17, 2013 pronounced the judgment accepting the construction of the side viewer at Neredi for diverting the water up to 8 tmcft.
According to the judgment, the Odisha government has to acquire about 106 acres from the nearby villages and hand it over to the Andhra government for construction of barrage at Neredi. Similarly, Andhra government has to pay compensation to the Odisha people for the acquired
The bone of contention
- The Vamsadhara river is an inter-state river that flows through about 265 km in AP and Odisha
- Andhra and Odisha states signed an agreement to share the reassessed yield of Vamsadhara at Gotta
- For proper utilisation of the share, the AP started construction of a barrage at Neredi
- The Odisha government moved the Supreme Court in 1962 objecting the construction of Neredi Barrage
- The Odisha government also raised objections over the construction of Vamsadhara reservoir too, later
- A tribunal was formed to solve the disputes over the Vamsadhara water