VIJAYAWADA: Noting that the farmers of backward Srikakulam district were eagerly waiting for the construction of Neradi Barrage, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat urging that the final report and decisions of Vamsadhara Water Dispute Tribunal (VWDT), which permitted Andhra Pradesh to construct the barrage across Vamsadhara River, be published in the official gazette.
The Chief Minister also requested the Union minister to take measures to set up an interstate regulatory body (supervisory committee) and a single- member review authority as per the provisions of the final order.The letter was sent three days after the Supreme Court issued a notice to the AP government in the Special Leave Petition filed by Odisha against the final order passed by the VWDT permitting AP to build Neradi Barrage. The apex court has listed the matter in November for final disposal.
It may be recalled that the tribunal submitted a report to the Centre in June, 2021, giving AP a go-ahead to construct the barrage across Vamsadhara River along with ancillary structures. In the letter dated September 27, Jagan explained that the VWDT submitted a report to the Centre on the issues arising out of its final order dated September 13, 2017, following the applications filed by Odisha and the Centre under section 5(3) of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act (ISRWD), 1956.
Under clause VIII of the final order and the report of the VWDT, Odisha was directed to acquire 106 acres of land required for the Neradi Barrage and hand it over to AP within one year from the date of publication of the order in the official gazette. As per clause X, the Centre and the party States have to nominate four members for setting up an inter-state regulatory body (supervisory Committee) within three months from the date of publication of the order in the official gazette for implementing the decision of the Tribunal, he added.
Further, as per clause X (A), the resolution/direction of the supervisory committee shall be reviewable on the application of either of the party States and the decision of the review authority on the review petition, if any preferred, shall be final and binding on both the States, Jagan observed. The union secretary of the department of water resources would be the review authority, he added.
“…It is pertinent to bring to your esteemed consideration that four years have been passed since the decision was rendered by VWDT on September 13, 2017 and further report was also issued on June 23, 2021, and the farmers of the most backward Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh are eagerly waiting for the construction of the Neradi Barrage on the River Vamsadhara to optimise the water, which otherwise is going waste into sea year after year,” the Chief Minister said, requesting that the final report and decisions of the tribunal be published in the gazette at an early date to give effect to the further report/final order and decision of the VWDT.