Odisha out to stamp authority in border villages eyed by AP

Bhubaneswar: The inhabitants of revenue villages of Akhada and Gudikodha in Gajapati district strangely own ration cards supplied by neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, a solar lighting project has been undertaken by the neighbouring government in the villages. However, the strangeness gave way to a well thought out strategy of the neighbouring government when a team of Gajapati district administration visited the villages to take stock of the situation and more importantly to stamp the Odisha government’s rightful claim on the land.

As per land records, all the plots of the village are within the map of Akhada village of Ganjam district. However, observers believe that with land for agriculture and ponds getting scarce in Andhra Pradesh; the neighbouring government is trying to gobble up border villages by luring its villagers through various state-sponsored authorities.

After providing ration cards, Aadhar cards, the neighbouring now has plans to supply electricity by installing solar panels. However, the locals here pledge their allegiance to Odisha which supplies rice and say they will stay in Odisha only.

“We will get electricity from Andhra but rice from Odisha. We want to stay in Odisha,” said Jayamu Sabar a resident of Akhada village.

Similarly, in Gudikoda village, the Andhra government has already installed tube wells and is supplying electricity.

The Andhra Pradesh government has supplied us with electricity and built roads. But we have been with Odisha since long and will continue to do so.

“Based on the revenue records, both the villages belong to Odisha. As they share the border with Andhra Pradesh there is some movement of people between the States. However, the Odisha government has been providing all the benefits to the people of these two villages,” said sub-Collector of Gajpati, Anam Charan Patra.

However, after the matter came to light the district administration visited the village to assess the situation and has geared up to ensure that the villages are not only on Odisha’s map but the State government’s development map as well.