Bhubaneswar: With Andhra Pradesh is making making all efforts to claim its jurisdiction rights over bordering villages in Kotia Gram Panchayat under Pottangi Block in Koraput district, Odisha Government is planning to celebrate 75th Independence Day in the disputed region.
As the neighbouring State is reportedly conspiring to divide Kotia into two parts on linguistic basis by putting up Telugu signages in 22 villages on August 15, the Koraput administration is all prepared to foil Andhra’s alleged plan.
In this regard, a closed-door meeting chaired by Koraput Collector Mohammed Abdul Akhtar was convened on Wednesday.
Though, the administration did not elaborate on what was discussed at the meeting, sources said that Kotia was in focus and the district officials were discussing to celebrate Independence Day in hamlets bordering Andhra.
As per the plan, the administrative officials will arrive in Kotia on August 14 night and celebrate Independence Day in every village with fervour.
At the meeting, the officials were asked to review the developmental projects of Kotia and expedite the pending project works.
There is a plan that former Koraput Collector Gadadhar Parida along with his associates will unfurl the Tricolour in every village of Kotia on August 15, a source informed mentioning that the Utkal Dibasa was celebrated in Kotia under leadership of the former official earlier.
Even as the sovereign rights over Kotia is a matter of sub-judice, Andhra Pradesh is reportedly trying to allure the poor villagers with various schemes.
On the other hand, Odisha Government has started developments in bordering villages of the disputed panchayat in Koraput district.
Source said that many projects are in final stage. If the development trend continues, Andhra can never succeed in merging Kotia in its periphery.
Reacting to Odisha’s initiative for all-round development in Kotia, an agent of Andhra Pradesh has written to Parvathipuram administration recommending a few proposals for Kotia residents to make them on Andhra side.
Reports said that a village under Kotia GP has been renamed as the Ganjeibhadra village of Andhra Pradesh. The neighbouring State has accorded the Gram Panchayat status to the village and appointed Sarpanch Gemel Dibakar as an agent, who works as an informer to the administrative officials.
Recently, he had written to the Parvathipuram Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Project Officer requesting him for setting up a government residential tribal college on Andhra border before the Odisha Government takes this initiative. He also demanded 40 percent reservation for students of bordering villages in that proposed college. Besides, he suggested to set up a college for girls and impart education in Telugu language.
Earlier, Andhra Government had conducted panchayat polls in some villages in Kotia following which Odisha Government moved to the Supreme Court challenging the elections this year.
Later, Parvathipuram ITDA PO R. Kurmanath along with other officials had engaged in a verbal duel with an Odisha official — Narayanpatna Tahsildar Abhishek Das — while trying to enter Dhulipadar village in Kotia in April.
Recently, a delegation of the Lok Satta Party gave the ITDA a proposal for promotion of Telugu language in the disputed cluster villages of Kotia Gram Panchayat in Odisha.