Odisha-Andhra Border Dispute: Koraput Collector Visits Kotia

Koraput district collector Abdaal M Akhtar visited several villages of the Kotia panchayat and interacted with the locals to get a first-hand account of the issues faced. This happened days after his Andhra counterpart held a gram sabha in the Ganjeipadar village under Kotia panchayat of Pottangi block.

As per reports, Akhtar visited Madkar, Doliambo, Phatuseneri, Phagunaseneri and British Road in the disputed Kotia panchayat and reviewed the progress of the ongoing developmental works in the region. The Collector also inquired of the damages arising out of Cyclone Gulab, inspected the bridge at Madkar, a road and a bridge at Tadibalsa near British Road that was washed by rain triggered by the cyclone.

Koraput Project Director of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Pottangi Block Development Officer (BDO), Panchayat Officer of Kotia, officials from Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), and engineers of Rural Development Department accompanied the Collector during his visit.

The dispute between the two states on the eastern coast stems from a lack of clarity over which administration the region falls under. While Andhra Pradesh claims that the region is rightfully theirs, Odisha thinks otherwise and believes the area is under its territorial control. Two days back, officials of Salur Mandal in Andhra Pradesh had conducted a gram sabha at Ganjeipadar and tried to lure villagers by assuring them that the Andhra government will take up several development projects in the region.

To improve the state of affairs over the border row between the two states, Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, asking him to intervene immediately to prevent flare-ups and ensure maintenance of the status quo by both parties involved.

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