CM Naveen Patnaik to unveil projects in disputed Kotia region
Odisha government had announced Kotia development package worth Rs 150 crore for 21 disputed villages in the panchayat a year back to woo the locals.
JEYPORE: Odisha government is all set to inaugurate a slew of development projects in Kotia under Pottangi block on Friday even as its Andhra Pradesh counterpart has announced polls in three villages by according them panchayat status.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate nine projects in Kotia through video-conferencing for which the district administration has put in place all necessary arrangements to make the programme a grand success. The projects include a hospital and school.
State government had announced Kotia development package worth Rs 150 crore for 21 disputed villages in the panchayat a year back to woo the locals. A number of officials of different line departments led by Koraput Collector Madhusudan Mishra rushed to Kotia on Thursday to review the ground realities and take stock of the situation.
Sources said several roads in Kotia have been developed in last one year while electrification and mobile tower installation are complete by the government agencies. Work on the school, hospital, hostel and cluster house was completed recently.
The CM’s inauguration of the projects holds significance as the AP government has announced panchayat elections in three villages - Tal Ganjeipadar, Phatu Chineri and Phaguna Chineri- of Kotia panchayat which will be held on February 13 and 17.
For the inauguration ceremony, district administration has invited a number of public representatives and residents of Kotia to showcase its strength to the neighbouring AP government. Besides, for the first time, special arrangements have been made for mediapersons to cover the event widely.
On the other hand, a local outfit ‘Mo Kotia Sangathan’, which is spreading awareness among residents of the panchayat on their rights and alliance with Odisha, expressed displeasure over the decision to inaugurate the projects through video-conferencing.
Meanwhile, nomination papers were filed by candidates for the AP rural polls in three disputed villages of Kotia on the day.
In Tal Ganjeipadar, nomination papers were filed by Bisu Gamel (YSR Congress), Divakar Gamel (Independent) and Dambu Gemel (CPM). Similarly, Betru Hareka (YSR Congress) filed his papers in Phaguna Chineri. In Phatu Chineri, Malti Hareka (YSR Congress) filed his nomination.
Koraput Collector transferred
Close on the heels of Andhra Pradesh government announcing to hold panchayat elections in some of the disputed villages of Kotia panchayat, Odisha government on Thursday shifted Koraput Collector Madhusudan Mishra and appointed Mohammad Abdaal Akhtar in his place.
Mishra has been posted as the additional secretary in Forest and Environment department. Akhtar, project director of DRDA in Cuttack, will take over as the new Collector of Koraput.