Himachal Pradesh polls: A village that fears Rohtang tunnel will only cut them off

By | October 31, 2017

Written by Navjeevan Gopal
| Koksar (lahaul Spiti) |
Revealed:November 1, 2017 four:49 am

himachal pradesh assembly elections 2017, himachal pradesh elections 2017, Rohtang tunnel, Rohtang pass, Rohtang tourism, Manali pass, himachal pradesh polls, bjp, bjp manifesto, bjp himachal vision document, virbhadra singh, congress candidates himachal polls, bjp candidates himachal polls, vikramaditya singh, prem kumar dhumal, j p nadda, himachal poll candidates, himachal elections 2017, india news, indian express news Dolma, Tanzin and Shomo of Koksar on their means residence with firewood. (Specific Photograph: Jasbir Malhi)

MOST OF Lahaul area could also be upbeat in regards to the upcoming Rohtang tunnel — which can cut back the space between Manali and Keylong by practically 50 km and two hours, in addition to making Lahaul accessible around the 12 months — however there’s no less than one little village off the Leh-Manali freeway that doesn’t share that enthusiasm.

Villagers of Koksar, about 7 km from the tunnel’s northern terminal , imagine that their isolation will now improve from six winter months to all 12 months lengthy.

“At the moment, snowfall cuts us off from Manali for six months. However after the tunnel opens, we can be remoted in the summertime months too as all site visitors to Manali will go via the tunnel, fairly than alongside the freeway,” mentioned Dolma of Koksar. “All public transport, all buses, will undergo the tunnel,” she mentioned, her views echoed by fellow villagers Tanzin and Shomo.

The village, which has 50 households, is a part of Lahaul-Spiti, an meeting constituency whose 22,00zero voters went overwhelmingly with the Congress (60%) in 2012.

Dolma, Tanzin and Shomo had been amongst a bunch of girls returning residence after gathering wooden from round four km away. They mentioned the wooden, which they might use for cooking, would final their households three days. The village sustains on farming of potato, pea and cauliflower.

Every week in the past, the village panchayat had requested them to contribute Rs 500 for a celebratory perform at Sissi helipad in Keylong, to mark the completion of digging work for the tunnel. The tunnel itself is anticipated to be opened to site visitors in 2019.

“Now we have been demanding a helipad at Koksar for a number of years now,” Dolma mentioned. “Regardless of land being provided by the panchayat, our demand has not been met.” Each time there’s a medical emergency in winter, the affected person must be taken to the Sissu helipad, 15 km on foot alongside the snowy street, with no transport companies working.

Till a few years in the past, most villagers would stay indoors at Koksar in winter. Of late, villagers have been transferring out to Kullu and different locations throughout these six months. “A lot of the villagers transfer out and dwell in rented lodging in locations equivalent to Kullu,” mentioned Shomo. The snowfall cuts off electrical energy too, she mentioned.

There’s an Ayurvedic dispensary within the village. “Now we have been demanding a main well being centre. The chief minister had promised a PHC, however it’s but to be arrange,” Shomo mentioned.

The Rohtang tunnel, which can be Eight.Eight km lengthy, is being laid within the Jap Pir Panjal vary. It missed its earlier deadline of 2015; digging work was accomplished earlier this month. The unique venture value was Rs 1,458 crore, not counting escalation on account of the missed deadline.

The horseshoe-shaped tunnel may have a completed width of 10 m — an Eight-m street bordered by a 1-m footpath on both aspect. It has been designed for a most pace of 80 km per hour.

The venture was conceived in 1983 and introduced by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the inspiration stone at Dhundi, close to Manali, in 2010.

The tunnel, which is strategically vital for the military, has its terminals close to Panchal on the Manali aspect, and close to Gufa Resort in Keylong on the opposite aspect.

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