|The construction of the Neradi barrage over the Vamsadhara river will be a reality only when the State government is able to get support from the Odisha government though the former got a favourable order from the Vamsadhara Water Disputes Tribunal a couple of months ago, according to senior officials of the Irrigation Department.|
The tribunal’s order would help the State government when the Odisha government completes land acquisition in its jurisdiction to pave the way for the barrage which is expected to irrigate more than 1 lakh acres additionally in Srikakulam district.
The officials say convincing the Odisha government is expected to be a Herculean task as it cannot take up the acquisition of 106 acres from Badigam and Sara villages of Gajapati district. While the land value is around ₹3 lakh per acre, the government has to pay around ₹9 lakh per acre as per the new Land Acquisition Act-2013.
“The State government has to send a formal letter requesting the Odisha government for land acquisition citing the tribunal’s order,” said a senior official. He indicated that the government might send such letter after preparation of a new detailed project report with revised estimates. As per the tentative estimate, the government has to spend around ₹468 crore for the construction of the barrage which could be completed within two years once the work begins.
Former Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao asked the State government to speed up the process for maximum benefits.
Meanwhile, Srikakulam Collector K. Dhananjaya Reddy reviewed the construction of the side weir which would allow drawing the Vamsadhara waters through the flood flow canal till the construction of the barrage near Neradi village. He said the contractors were directed to complete the construction by February so that the water would be utilised for irrigation purpose from the next kharif season.