|The 56-year-old dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha over construction of a barrage at Neradi across the Vamsadhara River in Srikakulam district has come to a close with the Vamsadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (VWDT) granting permission for its construction. It also ordered the setting up of a supervisory committee to implement its decision.|
The tribunal, in its “final order and decision” issued in New Delhi on Wednesday, permitted A.P. to construct the Neradi barrage and gave specifics about the right and left head sluices.
The right head sluice should have a design capacity of 8,000 cusecs for meeting the requirements of A.P. and the left head sluice for meeting the requirements of Odisha below Neradi Barrage. The order said that the capacity of the left head sluice should be intimated to Odisha and the cost of construction of the sluice should be borne by the beneficiary State. If in future Odisha decides to increase its ayacut, the cost of the proposed barrage should be shared between both the States, the tribunal ordered, in accordance with the agreement reached by the two States in 1962.
The three-member tribunal with Justice Mukundakam Sharma declared the yield of the river at Gotta Barrage as 115 tmcft and said that both the States should share it equally.
The tribunal also permitted A.P. to construct a side weir (dam) , but put several conditions on the quantity and duration of drawal of water.
The committee should select a place for its office in Andhra Pradesh which should be provided by the government, the order said.
Vamsadhara is an inter-State river originating in the Eastern Ghats near Lanjigarh of Kalahandi district in Odisha. The river forms a common boundary between the two States for 29 km and flows for 82 km in A.P. until it empties into the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam. The total catchment area of the basin is 10,830 square kilometres, with 8,926 sq km (82 %) in Odisha and the rest in A.P.
A.P. had proposed a barrage at Neradi entailing acquisition of 106 acres of land in Odisha territory in 1961. Odisha agreed to provide the land at that time. The tribunal ordered Odisha to acquire the required land and hand over the same to A.P.