Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 22:
Expressing severe resentment over Andhra Pradesh government going ahead with the construction of the controversial Neredi barrage project while a hearing on it was on, Vansadhara Water Dispute Tribunal (VWDT) has slapped a show cause notice to the former.
On the basis of a complaint filed by the Odisha government, the VWDT on Monday directed the Andhra Pradesh government to show cause within November 30 under what circumstances it started work on the project.
The next hearing in the matter is likely to be held on December 5.
According to sources in New Delhi, hearing on the project over river Vamsadhara is continuing at the VWDT.
Andhra Pradesh has started work on Neredi barrage project before VWDT has pronounced its verdict.
The Odisha government armed with report on the starting of work on the controversial project including photographs and videos moved the VWDT on Monday.
The state government cited that Andhra Pradesh government had made full preparations to restart construction of Neredi-Vamsadhara Project-2 near Katraguda village merely 12 KM from Gunupur town on Andhra-Odisha border.
While stating that Andhra Pradesh government had dumped construction materials at the project site and workmen were camping at the site, the state government sought the VWDT to immediately issue a stay order on the construction.
The VWDT has directed the Andhra Pradesh government to submit a report on the matter within seven days.
It may be recalled here that then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajsekhar Reddy in 2003 had started construction of Neredi barrage on Vamsadhara river near Neredi at Katraguda at an outlay of Rs 950 crore.
About 50 percent of construction work on the project has been completed.
The project was severely opposed by the residents of Gunupur and Kashinagar alleging that hundreds of villages and thousands of acres of farmland would submerge due to the project.
Later VWDT was constituted in 2010.