Odisha denies consent to AP for notification of Vansadhara tribunal order

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 6 (PTI) The Odisha government on Tuesday said that it has rejected a proposal of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to grant consent to publish the order of the Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (VWDT) in the official gazette, saying that the issue is pending in the Supreme Court.

The VWDT was established in February 2010 to settle the Vansadhara river water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

The Odisha government has been opposing the move of Andhra Peradesh to construct a barrage over the river at Neredi asserting that the project will submerge 106 acre of land in Rayagada and Gajapati districts. This apart, the two districts will also face water scarcity once the project is implemented, an official said.

It was informed to AP that it would not be possible on its part to give consent as the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court, Odisha Water Resources Department said in a statement.

In its final order passed on September 13, 2017, the VWDT allowed construction of a barrage by AP at Neradi on the river Vansadhara.

However, Odisha filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court on December 12, 2017, against the order on the ground that the tribunal overlooked key conditions laid down in various inter-state agreements between Odisha and AP.

The Odisha government had also filed an application before the VWDT for clarification against its final order.

The statement said in an order on June 21, 2021, the VWDT has, by and large, kept its final order intact, but subject to the finalisation of the SLP in the Supreme Court.

Odisha filed another SLP against the VWDT's September 23, 2019 order directing a joint survey in the territory of Odisha, which is also pending before the apex court.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium is representing Odisha in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government has directed its officials to expedite work on the controversial Neradi barrage. PTI AAM NN NN

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