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Odisha-Andhra Border Dispute: Talks Underway, Hopeful of a solution; Says Marndi

Bhubaneswar: A day after Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shot off a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking urgent measures to resolve the on-going border disputes with neighbouring states, Odisha Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi on Friday said administrative-level discussions with Andhra Pradesh are currently underway to resolve the issue.

The minister said he was hopeful that the tension between both the states would ease following the discussions between the Collector of Koraput and his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh which is presently underway.

On reports that some parts of Odisha’s territory has been erroneously shown in Andhra Pradesh in Google map, the minister said the issue would be duly considered for appropriate action and rectification.

“Authorities in Andhra Pradesh have issued directions for stopping construction activities following talks with our officials as a decision has been taken to maintain status quo. Already talks between the Koraput Collector and his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh is underway and we are hopeful of a positive outcome,” said Marndi.

Responding to the on-going border disputes, BJP’s deputy leader in Odisha assembly Bishnu Charan Sethi urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to form an all-party committee to resolve such issues.

“After the formation of a separate State, no step has been taken by successive Chief Ministers of Odisha to resolve the border disputes. We urge the present Chief Minister to constitute an all-party committee to find a permanent solution on the border issues with neighbouring States, be it Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal,” said Sethi.

Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati slammed both Odisha government and BJP for their silence on the border disputes with Andhra Pradesh.

“The Andhra Pradesh government has set its eyes on several parts of Koraput district and the situation is likely to flare up in future. The people of Koraput will not tolerate if both Centre and Odisha governments doesn’t take steps to resolve the matter at the earliest,” said Bahinipati.

Earlier Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in a letter had urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take the support of the Central Government in mediating a resolution over the boundary disputes between Odisha and its neighbouring States.

“It is essential that we collectively arrive at a comprehensive and long-term solution for these conflicts and therefore, I also request your initiation for forming a House Committee in the Odisha Legislative Assembly comprising members from different parties for undertaking a detailed study of these issues and present their learned findings along with their recommendations,” wrote Pradhan.

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