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Caught between Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Kotia village tries hard to get rid of ‘disputed site’ tag

By oneindia staff

Bhubaneswar, April 9: The small village of Kotia is suffering from an existential crisis, literally. The village, which is officially a part of Odisha, is currently facing "intrusion" from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The village in Koraput, which shares a border with both the states, falls under the disputed zone since 1956.

The village is in the news after the Odisha government decided to send a team of officials to Kotia to "take stock of intrusion activities by Andhra Pradesh government" on Monday, reported ANI. Union minister D Pradhan is also likely to visit the village on Monday.

kotia village

The Odisha government decided to send officials to check "intrusion" in the village after reports stated that Andhra Pradesh government has built a road in Kotia gram panchayat.

"#Odisha govt to send a team of officials to Kotia village of Koraput to 'take stock of intrusion activities by #AndhraPradesh govt'. Union Min D Pradhan will also visit the area today. Kotia gram panchayat has 28 villages of which 21 are on disputed zone b/w Odisha&AP since 1956," tweeted ANI.

The residents of the village said that Kotia has always been a "disputed" site because of which they are facing a lot of problems. "This is a disputed site. We cast votes in Andhra Pradesh as well as in Odisha. Our village has sarpanch from both the states--Biswanath Khila from Odisha and Bisu Gemel from Andhra Pradesh," Dahur Khara, a villager from Kotia, was quoted as saying by ANI.

However, an official refuted all allegations. "There is no dispute. The area is in Odisha map since 1945. Odisha did not implement developmental programmes here, because of which Andhra Pradesh government is trying to lure tribals by offering freebies. The Odisha govt is thinking about its development for the first time," G Parida, former deputy magistrate of Koraput, was quoted as saying by ANI.

Till it is not clear whether Kotia is in Andhra Pradesh or Odisha, the villagers will have to live under the shadow of disputed area tag.

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