Although the Kotia cluster comprising 28 villages is presently positioned inside Odisha, 21 villages have discovered a spot within the newly carved Parvatipuram-Manyam district of the neighbouring state. The district headquarters is simply 40 km from some villages of the cluster in Odisha. Each Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments are engaged in a five-decade-long political tug-of-war over the possession of 21 out of the 28 villages within the Kotia panchayat and the case is sub-judice on the Supreme Courtroom since 1968.
In a letter to Patnaik written on October 31 and launched to the press on Friday, Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, stated the chief minister also needs to evaluate the progress made by the inter-state committee and spotlight the developmental actions taken up within the border villages. Referring to his earlier letters to the chief minister in 2020 and 2021, the senior BJP chief as soon as once more sought the chief minister’s intervention in addressing rising points within the border villages in south Odisha, particularly the Kotia group of villages in Pottangi block of Koraput district and Manikapatna in Rayagada block of Gajapati district.
Noting that previously few days, administrative outreach has been reported in these villages by the Andhra Pradesh authorities Pradhan stated: “This illegitimate and unlucky outreach by Andhra Pradesh Authorities is not solely confined to Kotia however can be progressively spreading to different villages in south Odisha.” Andhra Pradesh has been proactively implementing a number of schemes and developmental actions in these villages for luring the residents to be part of Andhra Pradesh, he claimed within the letter.
“It requires the Odisha authorities to be proactive on the bottom, thereby bringing the federal government and administration nearer to the residents of those border villages. Being distant from the district headquarter, individuals could discover the Andhra Pradesh administration extra accessible,” Pradhan stated.
He additionally expressed apprehension that the neighbouring state may additionally alienate the residents of Kotia area from Odisha, and thereby sever their age-old “socio-cultural umbilical twine with their motherland.” Andhra Pradesh is attempting to “sway” these border villagers by providing ration playing cards, healthcare, training, and different services, the union minister claimed. Conserving this in thoughts, Odisha ought to take the native inhabitants and organisations into confidence and handle developmental points by guaranteeing individuals staying in bordering villages usually are not lured by the services supplied by the Andhra Pradesh authorities. The Odisha authorities also needs to expedite the implementation of developmental actions within the state, he stated He additionally cautioned the state authorities that such administrative face-offs and disputes won’t solely create disharmony among the many individuals of the border areas but additionally hinder the event of those villages.
“It would derail the continued improvement course of which matches towards the socio-political targets of each states, and sow seeds for anti-establishment sentiments to take root on this area,” the union minister stated.
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