Unlike rest of the country, people of Lahaul-Spiti’s first panchayat, Koskar, in Himachal Pradesh – which is heading for the assembly elections on November 9 -- don’t want a concrete road, electricity or water. Their demand is unique – a helipad.
Koskar, consisting of three small villages– Koskar, Dimpuk and Ramthang that has a population of 450 people with 300 voters, is the only panchayat in the state whose entire population migrates to comparatively warmer places such as Kullu for three to four months every winter.
According to The Times of India, inclement weather, at times, can hit the region at the most unexpected moment, leaving people cut off from humanity for days together. Hence, a chopper could give access to other parts of the state and it could be more of a necessity than a toy for a joyride.
"If someone falls ill in heavy snow fall, all you can do is pray," Ramthang Sudharshan Kumar, a farmer in the region, told the newspaper, adding that sometimes, the weather is so bad, “we can't walk down to the neighbouring village, Dimpuk, which is less than 2km away. A chopper link would save lives”.
Another resident, Nirmala, said: "All of us have functional homes in Kullu and other places...The aged have already started moving out, the younger people wait a little longer, make arrangements for their cattle, leaving them with their friends and family in other places and then leave."
Residents say that during winters, the snow completely wipes the village. They said politicians have said they would provide a helipad, but nothing has been done to address their problem.
The state will go to poll on November 9. Counting will be on December 18.
According to an opinion poll conducted by India Today-Axis My India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will register a victory in elections by defeating the Congress government led by chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
According to the poll, the BJP will garner 43 to 47 of the total 68 seats in the state assembly. As the majority mark is 35, the BJP will easily romp home victorious.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine