Made a short sojourn to Chandigarh the other day. It was a same day trip. The weather looked promising in the morning with dark clouds hovering over Shimla. Thinking about rain I started my journey at 6 in the morning. It was a pleasant drive till Parwanoo with a little chill in the morning air. One of the best things I like about these early morning drives is seeing kids walking to school in tandem. The weather was all different once I crossed into Kalka and then got stuck in the traffic jam. After such a nice drive all through out from Shimla, this traffic snarl is a rude reminder of the problem of getting into Himachal. The road at Kalka is dug up with potholes and so much traffic traveling to Shimla and back these days, getting stuck in Kalka is a nightmare!
There were more woes in store as the mother of all traffic jams was to follow at Pinjore. Now this place has become a bottleneck with all sort of traffic including the 18 wheelers going to Baddi. One finds a 2 km line of vehicles anytime of the day just waiting to cross the 100 meter stretch of Pinjore bazaar. The authorities here after removing encroachment simply forgot to repair the road!!. Another traffic obstacle is the turning to Baddi and Shimla which is just after the congested bazaar and again at any point of time you have hundreds of vehicle lined up. In case it is your “lucky” day, you may get stuck again at the Pinjore Railway Crossing if the train is due to cross.
Haryana has one of the best maintained highways in Northern India and I wonder why the Haryana govt has turned a blind eye to this stretch. Probably Kalka lies on the far end of the state and they can choose to ignore this area. But this happens to be the gateway to Himachal and Shimla. This traffic mismanagement is bringing dis-repute to the state. With so much tourist traffic into Himachal crossing this stretch it leaves a bad taste in front of the people traveling from all over India. Just travel on the highways in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and other southern states and you will know what I am talking about.
The same thing happened while returning back from Chandigarh and I was in no mood to face this ordeal again in the evening but had no other choice. It was a big relief after crossing into Himachal and seeing the big gate with a photo of the Chief Minister welcoming all, made me wonder when did our beloved leader last traveled by road to Chandigarh. Even a lal batti with siren will not be of any help if his convoy gets stuck in Kalka or Pinjore. It is mere mortals like you and me who face the daily grind.
Here is a pic of the udan khatola of the mighty leader of the state (financed by your and my money) parked at the annadale ground. Just ignore the sarcasm and enjoy the view!