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Ramakanta Biswas

All efforts made by the Odisha government to prevent alleged intrusion by Andhra Pradesh authorities into the Kotia region of Koraput district seems to be bearing no fruits which becomes evident from fresh reports of the neighbouring government's push to distribute health cards in the dispute region. 

A volunteer employed by the Andhra government was recently seen undertaking a data collecting exercise for the issuance of health cards to residents in Kotia, which has become a bone of contention between Andhra and Odisha. 

The volunteer, whose name could not be ascertained, was found seated beneath a tree along a road connecting Kotia and Fagunsineri on Sunday and uploading biometric data and other details of the local residents through his mobile phone.  

As the cellular network was available at the location, the volunteer chose the place to carry out the application. 

When inquired, the volunteer unhesitatingly opened up about the motive behind carrying out the exercise. However, due to language barriers he wrapped up the conversation with a few lines stating that it was meant for providing modern healthcare facilities to the local residents.

He said the data collection exercise was being carried out under the instructions of the Chief Minister of the neighbouring state.  

The alleged conspiracy of the Andhra Pradesh government is seen as a threat to the development works being carried out by the Odisha government in the disputed region. However, the local administration was unavailable for comment on the development. 

For the unversed, the matter relating to the disputed Kotia region is sub-judice in court. In the latest development, the Supreme Court on January 24 postponed the hearing on the contempt petition by four weeks filed by the Odisha government against Andhra Pradesh in connection with the Kotia border dispute.

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