Odisha expedites development works in contentious border villages

31 Jan 2018

The Odisha government is preparing to fast-track development works in Kotiya panchayat of Koraput district where a dispute has cropped up with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh over ownership of several villages. Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been engaged in a tug of war since 1968 over the ownership of 21 out of the 28 villages under Kotiya panchayat in the district.

"Development activities are being expedited and the existing infrastructure in Kotiya panchayat will be strengthened with creation of new capital assets," said district collector K Sudarshan Chakravarthy, who recently visited the area. "Drinking water facilities will be provided and electrification of villages done on a priority basis. The work has already begun," the Collector said, adding, field staff has been instructed to ensure that all social security programmes are implemented in the area and not a single person is left out.
Chakravarthy, who recently joined office, reviewed the development activities during his visit to Kotiya on Sunday, close on the heels of Andhra Pradesh officials launching their flagship programme Janmabhoomi at Tolo Ganjeipadar village in the panchayat. Along with block officials and elected representatives, the Collector visited the only residential school under the panchayat, primary health centre, panchayat office and several primary schools located in Pottangi block, officials said.
Chakravarthy visited Ganjaipadar, Uppersembi, Dhulipadar and Arjuvalsa villages and held discussions with residents regarding their problems and opinions on academic activity and healthcare facilities available in the area. "Field staff never stays at Kotiya and most of the time schools remain closed. If the Collector keeps visiting the area on a regular basis then things might improve. We don't remember when was the last time a collector visited the area," said Ajay Pangi, a Kotiya resident.
Around 10 days back, bus services were introduced in Kotiya panchayat. The service is part of the administration's exercise to strenghten infrastructure in the panchayat situated in Pottangi block on the Deomali hill range, said an official. "Apart from providing better transportation to the locals, the service will boost tribal economy," he said.
Officials said the bus service will help over 4,000 villagers of the panchayat. The bus will cover around 250 kilometres every day. The administration has intensified development works in the panchayat. While old and defunct transformers are being replaced, road works are being executed on a war footing, he said. (PTI)