JEYPORE: Days after Andhra Pradesh conducted panchayat elections in villages of disputed Kotia, the Koraput district administration has asked its officials to put in more efforts and ensure all-round development in the area.
Koraput Collector Md Abdaal Akhtar, who had been on a tour of the panchayat for the last two weeks, directed the officials of Panchayati Raj, School and Mass Education, Forest, Agriculture and other departments, posted in the district, to adopt one village each in the panchayat and focus on its development.
This apart, the officials were also asked to visit the villages at least twice a month. The officials will be required to look after the daily affairs of the villages adopted by them, sort out problems faced by the residents and implement development programmes by getting funds sanctioned by authorities concerned.
The officials of Odisha Livelihoods Mission were asked to provide adequate employment opportunities to youths of the 21 villages in the panchayat. “Our primary objective is to focus on providing livelihood support to the villagers to ensure their socio-economic development,” said a senior district official, adding, the collector will monitor the works being implemented in the villages.
The Odisha government was caught on the wrong foot after Andhra Pradesh went ahead with rural elections in the panchayat. The neighbouring State did not only conduct polls in three villages under the panchayat but also renamed them and elevated them to panchayats while declaring them part of its Salur block.
The first reaction of Odisha administration was to transfer the Collector of Koraput district where the cluster of 21 disputed villages is located. CM Naveen Patnaik unveiled a slew of projects estimated at Rs 18 crore while promising to develop Kotia into a model panchayat.
Three days before the election, the State approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the polls and initiation of contempt against AP for violation of status quo ordered in 1968 and agreed upon by the two states in 2006. The SC issued notice to Andhra Pradesh but did not stall the polls.