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Odishatv Bureau

Koraput/Gajapati: The whirlwind visit of a high level team of the State government to the disputed Kotia panchayat in Koraput today seemed to have come to naught as none of the officials spoke to any villagers about their problems on Andhra Pradesh government’s interference in the area.

The five-member team headed by  IG Sanjib Panda, including Director (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) Ashok Kumar Nayak, Additional Secretary Sashadhar Nayak and Chief Engineer of Rural Development Department Ashutosh Mallick, visited Kotia cluster of villages and only took stock of the welfare schemes in the region, implemented by both the states.

However, the Kotia people alleged that the team members didn't give them a hearing.

"They visited the Sevashram sand panchayat office here but didn't talk to the villagers. People from all the 21 villages under Kotia had come to meet the officials but instead of listening to their woes, they asked the villagers to go to Koraput, which is 70 km away from Kotia, for a discussion," said Kotia sarpanch Biswanath Khil.

"We don't even know about the decisions being taken by the team. We had high hopes that our problems would be heard," lamented Kotia village chief Kamesh Gamel.

"If the government doesn't pay heed to our woes within a month, we will take a final call whether to side with Odisha or not," Gamel added.

Meanwhile, Koraput District Planning Board chairman Prafulla Pangi said the team discussed on several issues plaguing the panchayat.

BJP leader Jayram Pangi, on the other hand, said that the insensitivity of the Odisha government towards Kotia has been proved as it’s team lacked concern towards issues faced by villagers.

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