GUWAHATI: A party of government officials undertook a nine-hour arduous journey to a village, perched at an altitude of 14,000-ft in Tawang district Arunachal Pradesh, not to conduct any polling but inoculate a group of locals.
Officials do trek mountains negotiating inhospitable terrain in the Himalayan state during elections. For a change this time around, they carried refrigerated boxes containing vaccine vials instead of electronic voting machines.
The team, led by Tawang District Magistrate Sang Phuntsok, trekked mountain peaks, walked through deep forests, and crisscrossed a river to reach the village, Luguthang.
Phuntsok and Zila Parishad Chairperson (ZPC) Leki Gombu monitored the drive, conducted for 16 “grazers”. They were called back to the village through messengers.
Official sources said the persons were left out during the special vaccination drive conducted at Domtsang on May 19. Domtsang lies between Thingbu Hydel and Luguthang.
“The journey on foot started at 7:15 am (July 12) with the first climb of Nyukteng peak and it culminated at 4:30 pm with the last climb of Nahchhot peak after over nine hours. The officials also had to cut through deep forests, swampy foot track, and criss-cross the river Luguthang several times,” the sources said.
The next morning, the DM and the officers accompanying him reviewed the developmental activities being taken up in the village. The locals conveyed their gratefulness to the DM and the ZPC for their first-ever visit to the village.
“Besides the vaccination drive, 19 patients were treated for different ailments. Senior veterinary officer Dr Thutan Tashi gave free medicines for diarrhea, de-worming, and other ailments of livestock,” the sources said, adding the team reached back Tawang on Tuesday.
Two years ago, a polling party in the state returned home exhausted – thirsty, hungry, and sick, nearly a month since it was dropped in a village near the China border by a chopper.
The team members got stuck due to inclement weather and rescue was not in sight. So, they decided to return on foot and were eventually rescued three days later by the police.