Paralakhemundi: People in some riparian villages along the Vamsadhara river under Kashinagar block in Gajapati district have opposed the construction of Neradi and Katragada barrage projects by the Andhra Pradesh government.
Residents of Sara, Palsingi and Badigan villages expressed their displeasure over the ruling of the Vamsadhara Water Dispute Tribunal (VWDT).
In June this year, the tribunal has permitted the Andhra Pradesh government to construct the Neradi barrage across the Vamsadhara with ancillary structures, subject to certain conditions.
According to the locals, the above three villages are part of a submergence-prone zone of the Neradi project.
“After the Neradi and Katragada projects are executed, hectares of their farmlands will be submerged,” they fumed at a meeting held at Palsingh.
It is said that 106 acres on the Odisha side will be acquired by the Andhra government. A delegation of local people will meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar to apprise him of their issues.
They will oppose the AP government’s bid to build the Neradi project.
Notably, the tribunal, in its order, said that the barrage can have a right head sluice of 8,000 cusecs of design capacity to meet the requirements of AP and have a left head sluice (LHS) to cater to the requirements of Odisha below the Neradi barrage.
The cost of LHS is to be borne by Odisha. Further, the VWDT has declared that the yield of the Vamsadhara at Gotta Barrage, which is 115 tmc ft, should be equally shared by AP with Odisha, and since the inter-state agreement between the states envisaged sharing of water on a 50:50 basis, the same principle is to be followed in a year of distress.
The tribunal has permitted AP to draw water from Neradi barrage during the first crop period, i.e. from June 1 to November 30 every year.
The side weir at Katragada is to be totally plugged and made completely non-functional immediately after the Neradi barrage is commissioned.