This hamlet has a genuine dilemma

This hamlet has a genuine dilemma

No buses, only choppers

The newly-built helipad at Somadevarahatti tanda in Bijapur taluk.DH photo

It has no basic amenities, nor is there bus connectivity. But it’s unique for having a facility  that is rare - a helipad.

The State government has developed the helipad at Somadevarahatti tanda no 1 in Bijapur taluk, at a cost of Rs 10 lakh. The helipad, constructed by the Public Works department on a one-acre land, will be inaugurated on July 1, giving Somadevarahatti the distinction of becoming the first tanda in the country to boast of a helipad.

However, the poor residents of the 200-odd houses in the tanda are unlikely to be thrilled by dubious honour,  because they are clearly not at the receiving end of the State’s generosity. The helipad is for dignitaries who attend the Sri Mata Durgadevi temple annual fair held in the tanda.

“Union ministers and other dignitaries attend the annual fair in the tanda every year. This year, Goa chief minister, ministers and other leaders are expected to attend the festival to be held from July 1. The State government set up the helipad here following our appeals for it,” said Sri Mata Durgadevi Temple Dharmadarshi Jaganu Maharaj.

He also expressed his pride about the tanda being the first to get a  helipad.

The district headquarters in Bijapur lacks a government helipad and the one at Sainik School is used to ground choppers of VIPs.

The government constructed a helipad near Bhutanal, but it is yet to be inaugurated due to the lack of a proper road.

The helipad at Somadevarahatti is 26 km from the district headquarters. Three tandas are situated in the neighbouring areas and three buses ply from here everyday. Public Works  department Assistant Executive Engineer Vijaykumar Halakude said the government released funds for the project after repeated demands by the temple management.

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