Koraput: Nearly two weeks after the Chief Ministers of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh met November 9, all of a sudden, a large number of administrative officials from the neighbouring state visited Deomali hill (the highest peak in the State) in Koraput, Sunday afternoon.
Although the exact reason behind their visit is said to be informal, it has raised the eyebrows of many in the district and state as well.
District Collector of Vizianagaram A Surya Kumari and more than 70 officials reached Deomali hill in around 15 government vehicles. The officials had a feast at Deomali peak before returning to Andhra.
According to a source, the activities of Andhra officials have triggered assumptions as the vehicles initially moved towards the fringe villages under Kotia panchayat via Kunduli under Semiliguda tehsil of Koraput. Later, their vehicles changed direction and proceeded to the hill.
The Collector Kumari along with other officials also visited Galigabdar waterfall under Pottangi block in Koraput. They spent some time at the waterfall and returned to Andhra via Pottangi, the source added.
“Koraput Additional Collector had kept a close eye on the activities of the officials at Deomali. Pottangi police and block development officer (BDO) also kept a strict vigil on them at Galigabdar waterfall. Amid the ongoing faceoff between the neighbouring governments over the Kotia region, we have to remain alert,” a senior Odisha official said.
It is pertinent to mention, Odisha and Andhra governments agreed to set up an institutional mechanism to deliberate on outstanding issues between the two neighbouring states and find out solution, this was decided at the meeting between Naveen Patnaik and his counterpart YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar.
A joint statement later issued by both the Chief Ministers stated that a number of issues of mutual interest were discussed particularly in the fields like water resource, common boundary and left-wing extremism. Both governments will work to resolve disputes pertaining to the Kotia villages, Neradi Barrage, Janjavathi Reservoir and Polavaram.
They will also work for the release of water for Bahuda River besides mutual NOCs for the Balimela and Upper Sileru in energy sector.