Vijayawada: Vamsadhara Water Dispute Tribunal on Monday ruled that Andhra Pradesh and Odisha will share 115 TMC of Vansadhara river at Gotta Barrage on a 50:50 basis. This was agreed to by Andhra Pradesh and Odisha governments during the meeting held on September 30, 1962. The tribunal also allowed AP to build the Neradi barrage.

Since the inter-State agreement states envisaged sharing of water on a 50:50 basis, the same principle shall be followed in distress. When there is a shortage of discharge in a particular year, sharing of water would be proportionately reduced.

The distress sharing formula for the Vansadhara river basin as specified herein will be applicable for the total utilization in the basin by each State. The Tribunal permitted Andhra Pradesh to construct the Side Weir along with ancillary structures as proposed and allowed to withdraw water only up to 8 TMC from June 1 to June 30 every year through the Side Weir.

The Tribunal also permitted Andhra Pradesh to construct the Neradi Barrage across the river Vansadhara with ancillary structures. The Barrage will have a Right Head Sluice with a design capacity of 8,000 cusecs. The Barrage will also have a Left Head Sluice for meeting the requirements of Odisha.

The capacity of this Left Head Sluice will be intimated by Odisha to Andhra Pradesh within six months of the publication of this order in the official Gazette.

The cost of Left Head Sluice shall be borne by Odisha. If and when in future, irrigation is decided in Odisha, the cost of the proposed Neradi Barrage shall be borne between the two States on ayacut basis. This is as per the agreed resolution dated 4 September, 1962 between the two States.

The Tribunal permitted Andhra Pradesh to withdraw the water of Vansadhara River from Neradi Barrage during the first crop period from June 1 to November 30 every year. All flows thereafter shall be let down in the river for use by both the states as agreed upon.

Further, Side Weir at Katragada shall be totally plugged and made completely non-functional immediately after the Neradi Barrage is commissioned.

The proposed Neradi Barrage project as well as the proposed Side Weir project must get necessary appraisal/ clearances from Central Water Commission; Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation; Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other statutory bodies, as required.

Odisha shall acquire 106 acres of land as per relevant provisions of the concerned Act in its territory, required for the Neradi Barrage Project and hand it over to Andhra Pradesh within a period of one year from the date of publication of this order in the official Gazette.

Andhra Pradesh shall pay to Odisha all costs including compensation, charges, and expenses incurred by Odisha for or in respect of the compulsory acquisition of lands, as provided in the Detailed Project Report of Neradi Barrage, which are required to be acquired for Neradi Barrage.

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