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Dilip Kumar

Bargarh: At a time when border controversy over Kotia villages in Koraput district has emerged a major headache for the Odisha Government, another report that would eventually drag the State government into an embarrassment has come from a village in the district bordering Chhattisgarh.

Residents of Chhardhapalli panchayat under Paikamal block near Padmapur in the district have shown interest to merge with Chhattisgarh. Reason, they are deprived of the government benefits in Odisha.

A group of people from the panchayat has recently met Tribal Welfare Minister of Chhattisgarh, Kismat Lal Nanda and submitted a memorandum expressing their desire to merge with bordering State.

The villagers alleged that they have demanded Odisha government for pucca road and bridge to their village several times, but their demands have remained unheard.

"Our repeated complaints fell to deaf ears of the Odisha Government. So, we have decided to merge with Chhattisgarh, said Arikhit Pradhan, a resident of Chardhapalli.

Nanda, who is a Congress Legislator from Sareipali in Chhattisgarh that shares border with Odisha's Padmapur, has assured them of appropriate steps to fulfil their demands.

"I took note of their demands and will talk to our Chief Minister as well as his Odisha counterparts. I suggested the people to sit here until Odisha government has not fulfilled the demands, "said Kismat Lal Nanda, Saraipali MLA and Chhattisgarh Tribal Welfare Minister.

On the other hand, Bargarh Collector said that measures are being taken to develop Chardhapalli panchayat.

"The government is fully committed for the development of Chardhapalli village. All measures are being taken to fulfil their demands," said Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan.

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