JEYPORE: After a brief lull, Andhra Pradesh has reportedly begun groundwork for a hydropower project in bordering Neradivalsa in the disputed Kotia panchayat under Pottangi block of Koraput district.
Sources informed that a subcontractor of Tata Consultancy has started seepage testing by engaging men and machines over Ganjaipadar river near Patitapaban temple of Neradivalsa in the disputed panchayat. Though the works began just two days back, Koraput district administration is yet to wake up to the issue.
The development, significantly, comes a week after Supreme Court agreed to hear the original suit filed by Odisha government and contempt petition against AP officials for their alleged illegal activities in Kotia.
In December last year, officials of New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation Limited of AP and officials of NTPC had visited Neradivalsa and nearby two villages Dhulipadar and Tadivalsa.
Accordingly, the hydropower project works were taken up in disputed Neradivalsa which is a few kilometres from Salur block of neighbouring Vizianagaram district. The seepage testing work will be completed well before rainy season and later, the dam works could be started, sources said.
Though details of the project are yet to be made public, it is believed power generation from the project will benefit Kotia panchayat as well as some patches of Salur in AP.
Once the news surfaced, former Koraput Collector-cum-Convenor of Ama Kotia Organisation Gadadhar Parida rushed to the spot and spoke to the staff of the contracting agency for the project and asked them to stop work at Neradivalsa but in vain. The staff said they were acting as per the instructions of AP government.
“It seems the State administration has no news and allowed AP to have it inside Odisha territory”, rued Parida demanding immediate intervention of the State government.
Koraput Collector Md Abdaal Akhtar did not comment on the matter while Pottangi block development officer SS Mishra said he had no knowledge of such a development.