A state level official team has visited the Kotia panchayat to take stock of the problems of the people in the area of Koraput district where the state is embroiled in a dispute with Andhra Pradesh over ownership of several villages.
The Chairman of District Planning Committee and Pottangi MLA Prafulla Pangi who accompanied the team said "we visited the area yesterday and talked to some villagers about their problems. The villagers are also told that they can attend the review meeting at Koraput in the evening, if they wish".
"We visited the residential school, health centre, panchayat office and other government establishments at Kotia and interacted with the locals. A report on the present situation at Kotia will be submitted to the government for action," said a team member.
The team members also visited Tolo Ganjaipadar village where last month the collector of Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh) had launched their states Janmabhoomi programme.
A section of villagers alleged that they were upset as the team asked them to place their problems at a meeting later in Koraput town instead of giving the a hearing in the area.
"The team members came to Kotia but did not listen to our problems. They asked us to come to Koraput, around 60 km from here, to place our demands at a review meeting in the evening. Why should we travel such long distance in night? said Kamesh Gamel, a Kotiya resident.
We want to be a part of Odisha, but from the attitude of the officials it doesnt seem they are really concerned about our problems. Their visit is just an eye-wash, said another local Biswanath Khillo.
The team members were Inspector General of Police Sanjeev Panda, Director (revenue department) Ashok Kumar Nayak, Additional Secretary (revenue department) Sasadhar Nayak and Engineer-in-chief (rural department) Ashutosh Mallick accompanied by KBK Chief Administrator S P Thakur, collector (Koraput) K Sudarshan Chakravarthy, SP (Koraput) Kanwar Vishal Singh.
Odisha and Andhra are entangled in a battle over the ownership of 21 out of the 28 villages of Kotia panchayat since 1968.