Koraput: Andhra Pradesh government has managed to grab a hill full of gold and bauxite mines in Sembi village under Kotia panchayat of Koraput district on the pretext of meeting the basic needs of people of Orissa near its border, a report said.
It was learnt that the neighbouring state has set its eyes on several border regions of Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Gajapati districts for a long time. There are many instances when AP had constructed dams on the perennial rivers of Orissa to irrigate its own farmlands.
Besides, the sand and murram from Orissa rivers are being taken away by AP government to develop their infrastructure. Even as it costs crores of rupees to the state exchequer, neither the local administration nor the political leaders bother to raise their voice against this illegality.
Meanwhile, AP has reportedly continued with its illegal construction in several villages of Orissa even as a case over a boundary dispute between the two states spreading across 21 villages of Orissa is sub-judice in Supreme Court.
Lack of visits by Oriya babus to these villages due to reported presence of ultras has also suited AP’s ulterior motives, it was alleged. It has not only provided ration cards and voter identity cards to Oriya people, but also constructed roads, schools and drinking water projects inside Orissa in the name of meeting basic requirements of villagers.
People also have no qualms in becoming AP citizens since they don’t get any assistance from Orissa government. They even prefer to enroll their children in Telugu schools and exercise their voting rights in Andhra Pradesh, Gupta Prasad Panigrahi, a senior advocate of the district alleged.
It may be noted that AP, after it was separated from Madras and declared a separate state, has been claiming 21 villages of Kotia panchayat of Orissa. It has made its presence felt in these villages by fulfilling basic necessities of residents. People had exercised their franchise in a polling booth at Walsa of Vizianagaram district during 2014 general elections.
Similarly, AP government has also laid concrete roads in Sembi village after getting to know of the presence of gold and bauxite mines in a nearby hill. Though the state government has also constructed a few schools, panchayat offices and Anganwadi centres, officials never visit these villages fearing Maoists, locals alleged.
When contacted, collector V Jaykumar said the district administration cannot take any action as the matter is sub-judice.