Rojalin Mishra

Malkangiri: After border dispute over the ownership of Kotia panchayat villages in Pottangi block of Koraput district, attempts by the Andhra Pradesh government to lure residents of some villages in Chitrakonda block in Malkangiri district have sparked fresh controversy.

Sources said, people residing close to the Andhra border are being escorted and treated at hospitals in bordering districts of neighbouring state. Similarly, health camps are also being organised by the neighbouring state government in villages of different panchyatas under Chitrakonda block.

While some local residents alleged that intrusion of Andhra officials continues unabated in the region, they blamed the Odisha government’s neglect and indifference to their issues as the reason behind it.

Taking advantage of the Odisha government’s apathy, the administration of the neighbouring state is providing good healthcare facilities and undertaking developmental works in the area, they alleged.

Asked, local Mana Khila said “The Odisha government is least bothered about our health issues. We were unable to access good healthcare and used to suffer a lot but Andhra government has taken care of us and provided treatment in their state.”

Another resident Suresh Pangi said, “We are not getting any provision from Odisha government. Health camps are frequently organised in our village by the Andhra government.”

However, comments from the local administration of Odisha government could not be obtained.