KORAPUT: A map of Koraput that was prepared in 1945 by the Britishers can apparently be a strong evidence to support Odisha Government’s claim over 21 disputed Kotia villages. This was revealed by former Koraput Collector and Ama Kotia Sanghathan convenor Gadadhar Parida here on Tuesday. Parida claimed that the map shows Tadivalasa, the last village in Kotia group of villages towards Salur in Andhra Pradesh, comes under Odisha. “When Tadivalasa is on Odisha boundaries, all the other places from Neridiwalasa to Kotia panchayat headquarters were also in Odisha,” he added.
Ever since the district Collector of Vizianagaram, along with scores of other officials from Andhra Pradesh, visited Kotia and implemented ‘Janmabhoomi’, one of the flagship programmes of their government, a couple of months back, there were lot of administrative activities on both sides of the border. Parida’s statement came at a time when officials of Odisha Government were busy in trying to build confidence among people of the region over the commitment of the State towards their well-being. The former Collector walked for 15 km in the mountainous terrain to reach Neridiwalasa from Pottangi recently so as to find the status of a road built by the Britishers to facilitate traders from both sides. Surprisingly, he found that the road was not useable.
On being informed, the district administration took a keen interest in the road and began a survey to start repair work, sources said. Meanwhile, Alex Tanner, the daughter of the first district Collector of Koraput RCS Bell, reached Koraput to explore links of her father’s memories a couple of weeks ago. “Alex published a book based on the writings of her father about Koraput. After she returned to Australia, she shared the rare 1945 map with me,” Parida added.