Joint survey begins for Bansadhara river project

Berhampur: Engineers from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and the Central Water Commission (CWC) have started a survey to study the impact of the proposed Katragadda project over the river Bansadhara in Gajapati district.

The survey near Kasinagar was being carried out at the direction of the Vansadhara Tribunal, Chief Engineer and basin manager of Rushikulya-Nagabali-Bansadhara rivers, R N Swain, said here on Thursday.

The Bansadhara Tribunal was constituted by the Supreme Court in 2010 to solve the dispute between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh over sharing of Vansadhara river water.

"We have five engineers and several others to assist them in survey work that started yesterday from Naredi in Rayagada district. The survey will be completed on May 22," he said.

Although Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments had conducted surveys on the impact of the project separately, this time it was a joint survey involving the CWC, Swain said.

Andhra Pradesh has proposed to construct Bansadhara project-II at an investment of Rs 950 crore at Katragadda.

Opposing the project, Odisha moved the Supreme Court in 2006.

Andhra Pradesh planned to divert river water from Katragadda village to Hiramandalam reservoir in its state instead of constructing Naredi barrage on the river, under the project.

The work, however, was stalled when Odisha raised objections stating that it violated the water sharing agreement between the two states signed in 1961.

Odisha government fears several villages in Gajapati and Rayagada districts would be submerged and drinking water problem will arise in the area after river water is diverted from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh.