The non-discrete, tiny settlement of Hikkim in Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh has ‘lost its tag’ as the world’s highest polling station.
Taking on the title will be the sleepy village of Tashigang, situated in the Buddhist dominated district— it also holds the title of being the highest village in the Spiti Valley.
The Election Commission has set up a new polling station there, which is nearly 690 feet above the one in Hikkim (14,567 feet), making the Tashigang polling station (15,256) not just the highest in the country but in the world.
The station, located close to the Indo-China border, will cater to 49 voters, out of whom 20 are women. Seventy-eight-year-old Rigjin is the oldest voter.
At present, the village, which has only six houses, remains isolated because of heavy snowfall.
Once the snow melts and roads are cleared, the election machinery will swing into action for polling.
The snow would have melted by poll time in Himachal Pradesh, which will go in for polling in the last phase of elections on May 19.
Owing to the treacherous hill and forested topography of the state, conducting elections are an uphill task in many parts of the state.
In several areas, election teams have to walk miles to conduct polling.
Polling booths need be set up in far-flung areas to accommodate even a minuscule number of voters on election day.
Ka, the polling booth in Kinnaur district, has only six people as registered voters.
Tashigang falls under the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency which in terms of area is among the largest parliamentary constituencies.