Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has welcomed the judgement of Vamsadhara Tribunal permitting Andhra Pradesh to construct Neradi barrage across the Vamsadhara river and directed the officials to focus on the construction of the barrage once the gazette is released.
The Chief Minister instructed the officials to prepare an action plan for the construction. He said the judgement would be beneficial to both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states. He would invite Odisha Chief Minister and other public representatives for the foundation ceremony of the barrage. He said the policy of Andhra Pradesh government is to move forward with mutual cooperation.
Vamsadhara is a 254-km river that originates in the Kalahandi district of Odisha and gets drained in the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Of the 265-km stretch of the river, it flows for 154 km in Odisha, forms the border between two states for 29 km, and completes the remaining 82 km stretch in AP. It receives an average rainfall of 1,400mm of which an estimated 115 tmcft water is available for use. Under an agreement between the two states, the water is used by the two states on 50:50 basis.
The AP government in order to utilise its share of water proposed to construct Gotta reservoir and Neradi barrage. Gotta barrage was completed in 1977. Neradi barrage was proposed to be constructed 48 km upstream of the Gotta barrage. But as the proposed project will submerge parts of farmland on the eastern bank of the river, Odisha raised objections.
As an attempt to resolve the issue, the two states tried to resort to mutual discussions that lasted over five decades. But as these discussions were fruitless, Odisha demanded a tribunal to resolve the matter. It filed a complaint against AP in the tribunal and the tribunal gave its verdict in favour of AP towards the construction of Neradi Barrage, which has come as a big relief to the Jagan Mohan Reddy government....