The ongoing Maharashtra-Karnataka row may have brought the border dispute between states under focus, but people living in 14 disputed villages along the Maharashtra-Telangana border appear to be unmoved by this debate as they are enjoying the benefits of schemes implemented by both states.
The residents of these villages say that they have no problem going with any of the two states if the local government awards ownership of their farmlands to them.
The 14 villages – located in Jiwati taluka of Chandrapur district (according to Maharashtra map)–figure in the voters list of both the states and people there enjoy dual identity, entitling them to take benefits of all the basic facilities including political status from both Telangana and Maharashtra.
Earlier Andhra Pradesh and now Telangana (after division) claimed that these villages fall under their territory. However, the issue has remained unresolved so far.
Mr Waman Pawar, former sarpanch of Paramdoli gram panchayat said, “The dispute between the two states has remained unsettled since my childhood. But we are utilising the schemes of both states. There are 300-400 farmers in the 14 disputed villages who are ready to go with any government that provides permanent pattas (legal ownership document)to farmlands.”
The families of Mr Uttam Pawar and Mr Chandu Pawar have been living in Maharajguda village since a decade with seven rooms of their 11-room house falling in the territory of Maharashtra, with the remaining four in Telangana.
Mr Uttam said they were paying taxes in both states. Chandrapur Guardian Minister Mr Sudhir Mungantiwar said the villagers have been enjoying benefits offered by governments from both sides for many years.
According to Congress MLA Mr Subhash Dhote from Rajura constituency in Chandrapur said, “80% of residents from these villages are Marathi-speaking, mostly hailing from Nanded, Latur and Parbhani.”
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