Kotia to become model panchayat, says Naveen Patnaik, promises to visit the area soon
BJP leader Jayram Pangi said that Andhra Pradesh government has entered the area because of neglect of State government.
BHUBANESWAR/JEYPORE: In the face of Andhra Pradesh making fast moves to cement its control over the disputed Kotia gram panchayat in Koraput and even going to the extent of starting panchayat election process in some of its villages, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said he will soon visit the area and meet the people.In a bid to to stymie the neighbouring State’s actions, Naveen promised the people to transform Kotia into a model panchayat. He inaugurated and laid foundation stone of various development projects worth over Rs 18 crore in the panchayat.
Launching the projects via video-conference, he said that steps have already been initiated to develop education, health, communication, drinking water and power infrastructure in the region. Steps have been taken to ensure social security and protect livelihoods of the people living in the panchayat, he said.
Stating that the government is committed for the all round development of the region, the Chief Minister said, “Odisha is our mother, Odia is our language, Lord Jagannath is our God and Koraput is the second Sri Kshetra.” Referring to the important role of Koraput in freedom movement, Naveen paid rich tributes to Sahid Laxman Nayak. The Chief Minister had announced projects worth over Rs 150 crore for all-round development of Kotia panchayat in 2018.
He inaugurated nine projects on Friday including a 10-bed PHC building, a health sub-centre, three cluster buildings, one office complex, two road projects from Kotia to Kunduli and from Kotia to Madakar. He also laid the foundation stone of a high level bridge on Madakar nullah.On the occasion, he interacted with SHG members and panchayat representatives over the ongoing development works.
However, the Chief Minister’s inauguration of projects has come in for strong criticism from the Congress and BJP. Stating that transfer of Collector will not solve the problem, leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Narasingh Mishra said that announcement of panchayat election in the disputed villages by Andhra Pradesh government has proved that Odisha is in hands of a ‘weak leader’.
Congress MLA from Jeypore Tara Prasad Bahinipati said that most of the Kotia residents are preferring Andhra Pradesh as the Odisha government has failed to provide basic amenities. BJP leader Jayram Pangi said that Andhra Pradesh government has entered the area because of neglect of State government.