BHUBANESWAR: Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday decided to work together to resolve all contentious issues between the two states including the aggravating stand-off over Kotia group of villages. Issuing a joint statement following their meeting at Lok Seva Bhawan here, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart YS Jagan Mohan Reddy highlighted the intention of amicable resolution of all disputes.
The two chief ministers said that both the States will work closely on resolving the following issues - Kotia group of villages, Neradi barrage, Janjavathi reservoir, Polavaram, release of water for Bahuda river and mutual no objection certificates (NOCs) for the Balimela and Upper Sileru projects.
A high-level committee comprising senior officials will be constituted for the purpose. “The chief ministers have decided that chief secretaries of both the states will set up an institutional mechanism to deliberate on outstanding issues and find a solution that is in the best interest of the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh,” the statement said.
The statement maintained that a number of issues of mutual interest were discussed by the two chief ministers, particularly in the field of water resources, common boundary, energy and Left Wing Extremism. Describing the meeting as very cordial and fruitful, it said both the states not only share borders but also a long and glorious history and heritage.
Both the states also resolved to extend support towards tackling the problem of Left Wing Extremism and ganja cultivation. “At times of need, both states have extended full cooperation and assistance, a fact borne out during the natural disasters in the past,” it added.
The two states will also work towards setting up a chair for Odia and Telugu languages at BR Ambedkar University, Srikakulam and Berhampur University respectively. Besides, appointment of language teachers in schools in border districts of the two states, supply of books and conduct of language examination will also be taken to promote brotherhood.
It was also resolved that both the Odisha and Andhra governments will continue the legacy of mutual cooperation and in the true spirit of federalism, discuss issues between the two states. In a tweet following the meeting, Naveen said that it was a pleasure meeting Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. “Had a very cordial and fruitful discussion on a number of issues of mutual interest, particularly on water resources, common boundary, energy and left-wing extremism”, he said.