Odisha panel to visit disputed Kotia panchayat today

Bhubaneswar: A high-level team of State officials will visit the disputed Kotia cluster of villages in Pottangi block of Koraput district today to take stock of the ground situation arising out of the intrusion activities by Andhra Pradesh government.

The panel which comprises  IG Sanjib Panda, Director (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) Ashok Kumar Nayak, Additional Secretary Sashadhar Nayak and Chief Engineer of Rural Development Department Ashutosh Mallick will inspect the illegal road construction and distribution of freebies by the officials of Andhra Pradesh. Besides, the team will review various welfare schemes undertaken by Odisha in the disputed areas.

The officials will pay visit to various villages under Kotia panchayat and hold discussion with locals about their issues. Later, the team will give a report to the government after discussing with district administration.

Worried about the intrusion of Andhra Pradesh into the disputed villages of Koraput, Odisha government finally constituted a team to take stock of the situation.

The cluster of 21 villages are claimed by both Odisha and AP. Both the States have been implementing welfare schemes in the region.

The dispute between the two State came to fore in January after a team of officials from Vizianagaram district of AP had visited the area and distributed freebies like blankets, solar lights. Later, the neighbouring State has also allegedly started road construction and process for providing Aadhar cards to the local residents.