Philatelists Release Postal Cover With Slogan ‘Kotia Belongs To Odisha’

Bhubaneswar: The Eastern India Philatelic Association along with INTACH, Odisha Chapter, released a postal cover bearing the slogan “Kotia Belongs to Odisha” at Kotia post office in Odisha’s Koraput on Saturday.

The cover was stamped and cancelled at the Kotia post office which comes under Pottangi Sub Post Office. Both post offices are under Koraput Postal Division of the Odisha Postal Circle.

The cover was released by philatelists Anil Dhir and Dr Biswajit Mohanty in the presence of former State Election Commissioner Sanjib Hota, who was also the collector of undivided Koraput. Other officials of the state government were also present.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, Hota said Kotia has been and will remain as an integral part of Odisha and the territorial dispute with Andhra Pradesh over its possession should be resolved as soon as possible. “While all administrative and revenue offices of Odisha are located in Kotia since the formation of the state, the presence of the post office, which has been functioning for decades, is another proof of Odisha’s claim,” he added.

Mohanty claimed that Andhra Pradesh has ulterior motives for staking the claim over Kotia panchayat. The neighbouring state eyes rich bauxite deposits in the hills of the panchayat, he added.

“The Odisha government has in recent years developed infrastructure to a great extent in Kotia which is among the best and well maintained panchayats in the State,” he said.

Dhir said the purpose of releasing the cover in this remote post office was to support Odisha’s claim. Nearly 300 covers have been posted to stakeholders and persons who are involved in the dispute.

“Individual covers have been dispatched to the chief ministers of both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, the Prime Minister and President. The covers have also been sent to the lawyers who are fighting the case in the Supreme Court. Besides the covers have been mailed to all MPs and MLAs of both states from the Kotia post office with the cancellation and postmark of the post office bearing the PIN code,” he added.

Dhir further said natural beauty of Kotia makes it one of the most beautiful and pristine destinations of the state. While a good number of tourists come to the place from Andhra Pradesh, it is yet to become a popular place for Odias. There is excellent infrastructure in the area for eco-tourism and the government is developing Deomali by constructing cottages.

Interestingly, there are three other post offices in the country, one each in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which are named Kotia. Hence the Odisha Branch Office is spelled as Kotiya with the assigned PIN code being 764039.

The team also went to villages of Ganjaipadar, Katraguda, Nandaparti, Neredivalasa, Soliamari, Tadivalsa, Talasembi and Uppersembi. They interacted with the villagers and returned through Heritage Road from Neredivalasa to Pottangi.

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