State team visits Kotiya

The team of officials at Kotiya. Telegraph picture

Koraput: A state-level inter-departmental team, along with district officials, visited the disputed Kotiya panchayat in the district's Pottangi block on Friday to stock amid Andhra Pradesh government illegally intruding into the area and carrying out development works.

The team visited the residential school, hospital and panchayat office at Kotiya and took stock of the development work that the state government had undertaken in the area over the last 10 years.

"A detailed report of our findings will be submitted to the state government for necessary action," said a team member. The team comprising IG Sanjeev Panda, director (revenue department) Ashok Kumar Nayak, additional secretary (revenue department) Sasadhar Naya and engineer-in-chief (rural department) Ashutosh Mallick accompanied by KBK chief administrator S.P. Thakur, collector (Koraput) K. Sudarshan Chakravarthy, police chief (Koraput) Kanwar Vishal Singh with several other district level officials spend around two hours at Kotiya before going to Tola Ganjaipadar village.

Last month, the collector of Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh had launched their state's Janmabhoomi programme at Tolo Ganjaipadar.

Resentment among the Kotiya residents was noticed as the team asked them to come to Koraput later in the evening to place their problems at the review meeting.

"Is it possible for us to cover around 60km in evening to reach Koraput to air our grievances? The officials visited our place, but didn't have time to listen to our problems and demands. It seems the state government is not at all serious about Andhra's intrusion into the area," said a Kotiya resident.

The dispute between the two governments over Kotiya gained momentum in January when the district collector of Vizianagaram in Andhra visited the village and launched his government's Janmabhoomi programme.

The Andhra government has undertaken a road construction work at Tola Ganjaipadar after completing roadwork from Tadibalsa to Arkubalsa.

Last week, the officials of the Andhra Pradesh government had distributed solar lights and old-age pension to villagers and opened a centre for Aadhaar card enrolment.

The two state governments are locked in a legal battle over ownership of 21 out of the 28 villages of Kotiya panchayat since 1968 and the Supreme Court in 2006 had ordered status quo.


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