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Vikash Sharma

Koraput: The simmering tension between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh is likely to snowball into a major face off if no urgent measures are taken to resolve the disputes over border demarcation, experts opine.

Amidst the stand-off, Koraput Collector, Madhusudan Mishra on Monday categorically said that the on-going land measurement works by the Andhra Pradesh government was not acceptable.

“Whenever there is an adjoining border, only bilateral surveys or land measurement is acceptable and can be termed valid. The way Andhra Pradesh officials are unilaterally conducting their own survey makes the exercise invalid,” said Mishra.

According to the Collector, the district administration will approach both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments for a joint survey to resolve the issue.

Congress MP from Koraput, Saptagiri Ulaka condemned the move by Andhra Pradesh and demanded for urgent steps by the Odisha government to resolve the matter at the earliest. He also threatened to stage a demonstration at the border if no measures were taken on this issue at the earliest.

“The entire land belongs to Odisha and we will not allow even an inch of our land to be encroached upon. I have already adopted Kotia village under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. We will seek help of Odisha government and even Centre, if needed, to ensure that the people of the State do not have to suffer,” said Ulaka.

It is pertinent to mention here that after Kotia, Andhra Pradesh is eyeing several villages under Potangi block in Koraput district.

Around four-five days back, the inhabitants of four villages in Andhra Pradesh had staged a demonstration by blocking the connecting road between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Local leaders from Andhra Pradesh were seen participating in the demonstration.

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