Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 31:
A whole year after the recommendations of the standing committee of the State Assembly in this regard, the Odisha government has finally woken up and sought reports on the status of the villages located along the state’s borders, where encroachment attempts have been made by the neighbouring states.
According to official sources, additional chief secretary Dr Tara Dutt has written a letter to three revenue divisional commissioners (RDCs) and collectors of 10 bordering districts- Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Baleswar, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar and Sundargarh – and sought reports on the action taken by them against the alleged encroachment of areas on the state’s border by the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
On the basis of their reports, the state government would take appropriate action, the sources said.
It may be mentioned that the Standing Committee had submitted its 12-point recommendations to the state government in 2013-14 after conducting a detailed survey in the aforesaid districts.
The committee, in its recommendations, had asked the state government to keep track of the move of the neighbouring states to encroach the state’s territory that have remained a bone of contention between the two states since years.
The committee had also recommended the state government to give utmost priority to the setting up of schools and colleges and construction of hospitals with appointment of doctors and other health staff.
It had also urged the government to make provision for supply of drinking water and essential commodities to these bordering areas without delay.
Besides, the committee had suggested that the Panchayati Raj department should expedite the construction of roads to these disputed villages and hamlets.
The other recommendations the committee were measures to ensure proper functioning of Anganwadi centres, stress on electrification, provision of house for the homeless and land to the landless people of these villages.
This apart, the committee had also made a case for appointment of a nodal officer in the rank of additional secretary of the Revenue and Disaster Management department to look into the border dispute in these areas and make sincere efforts for its solution.