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Odisha Rejects AP Request

Bhubaneswar: The State Government has rejected the request of Andhra Pradesh to grant consent for publication of the final decision of the Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal in official gazette.

In a press statement, the Department of Water Resources (DoWR)said it has declined to agree to the request of Andhra Pradesh as the matter is still sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

The DoWR said that the Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (VWDT) had pronounced its final order on 13.09.2017, wherein the Tribunal had allowed Andhra Pradesh for the construction of Neradi Barrage on river Vansadhara. 

However, Odisha had immediately filed a SLP (No. 8030/2018) before the Supreme Court on 12.12.2017 against the final order of the Tribunal based on the grounds that the Tribunal has overlooked the important conditions laid down in the various inter-State Agreements held between Odisha and AP.

The State Government had also filed an application for clarification before the Vansadhara Tribunal against its final order of 13.09.2O17. The Tribunal pronounced the further Report on 21.06.2021, wherein the Tribunal has by and large kept its final order  (dated  13.09.2017)intact, but subject to the finalization of SLP in the SC.

Further, Odisha has also filed SLP (No.27930/2019) against the Tribunal order (dated 23.09.2019) for a joint survey in the territory of Odisha, which is also pending before the apex court.  Senior Advocate, Gopal Subramanium, is defending the case of Odisha in the court.

In view of the pending SLPs in the SC, the orders of the Tribunal (dated 13.09.2017 & 21.06.2021) cannot be published in the official Gazette under section 6(1) of the inter-State River Water Dispute Act,1956, which is essential for operationalization of order of the Tribunal.

Therefore, Odisha has declined to agree to the request of the State of Andhra Pradesh to grant any consent in the publication of the Gazette, subject to finalization of the SLP in the Supreme Court.