The North Andhra Development Forum (FDNA) welcomed the initiative of Prime Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy by writing a letter to his counterpart in Odisha about the Neradi project on the Vamsadhara River.
In a letter to Mr. Jagan on Sunday, FDNA General Secretary A. Aja Sarma described Vamsadhara as the lifeline of Srikakulam district. Under the 1962 agreement with Odisha, Andhra Pradesh must receive 57.5 tmc ft, half of the 115 tmc ft total. Gotta Barrage, completed in 1977, could provide 1.48,230 acres of irrigation systems. But Andhra Pradesh only used 17,841 tmc ft while the rest of the water flowed into the sea.
The Neradi Project was designed at an estimated cost of 933 crore in 2002 to provide additional storage of 16,685 tmc ft. Construction has not yet started due to the objections raised by Odisha. The Vamsadhara Tribunal had allowed the project to be built, but the previous government had neglected it. The previous governments had even neglected the construction of three side canals, an alternative to three reservoirs, and ignored the advice of engineers. This negligence by previous governments has resulted in drought conditions and human exodus, despite the fact that Srikakulam district has abundant irrigation water, he said.
Mr Sarma appealed to the Chief Minister to also look into the Odisha Chief Minister on the Jhanjavathi Project, which can provide 10 tmc ft of water to Vizianagaram District. The project, which began in 1976, has not yet been completed, he added.