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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amid the border dispute with Andhra Pradesh involving Kotia Gram Panchayat in Koraput, residents of as many as five to six villages of the neighbouring State have expressed their desire to merge with Odisha.

These villages are Gadibandha, Danturai, Kandalapadu, Soupala and Gajed. The news of these villagers wishing to merge with Odisha has come as a surprise for many.

As per reports, Andhra is leaving no stone unturned to encroach upon Kotia. However, the above villages of the neighbouring state in the vicinity of Swabhiman area in Malkangiri are posing pictures of neglect due to the negligence and indifferent attitude of the administration.

Locals have to use make-shift stretchers to carry patients to hospital without an all-weather road. The need for communication with good motorable roads and years of neglect by the Andhra Pradesh government has reportedly forced the locals to abhor the local administration.

As per the villagers, they have appraised the local administration of their ordeal several times. However, their plea has fallen on deaf ears.

 “We are suffering a lot because of the roads. All the residents of this Panchayat want to merge with Odisha only because Andhra government did not provide us with roads even after years of persuasion,” said a villager.

“The government officials do not come here because there is no road to this village. We are even deprived of basic amenities like drinking water and education. We don’t have a school in our area. We are yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” alleged another villager.

“Andhra government is not paying any attention to our ordeal. We want to join Odisha with the hope that the neighbouring State will take care of our basic needs at least,” he said.
 

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)

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