Andhra intrusion: State team to visit Kotia to take stock

Bhubaneswar: Amid reports about continuous intrusion by Andhra officials in Kotia panchayat in Koraput district, the state government decided to send a high-level team to the panchayat to take stock of the situation.
A team of government officials comprising engineers and officials from Revenue and Disaster Management department will visit the area soon to take stock of the situation, said Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty here Tuesday.
The minister told reporters about the development when he was informed that officials of the Andhra Pradesh government again intruded the area and are constructing a road in the gram panchayat violating the provisions of the Constitution.
The team will also discuss with Koraput district Collector and other officials in this regard and later submit a report to government, he said, adding, “We also sought suggestions from the Law department on the matter.”
The Andhra Pradesh government is trying to woo the villagers of the gram panchayat on the Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border by distributing blankets, solar lights and ration cards to the people despite strong opposition from the state.
Now, the Andhra government has started constructing road to a village (Talaganjeipadar) under the disputed panchayat to lure the villagers.
Last month, the Vijaynagaram district collector and SP along with some officials had distributed blankets and pension to tribals to celebrate Maa Uru’ or Janambhumi, being observed in Andhra Pradesh from January 2 to 11 every year. After that the state government has rolled out bus services to Kotia panchayat situated in Pottangi block on the Deomali hills range. Orissa and Andhra Pradesh have been engaged in a tug of war since 1968 over the ownership of 21 out of the 28 villages under Kotia panchayat in the district.

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