Nothing changed on Shimla-Parwanoo highway


Made a short visit to Chandigarh this weekend. It is the same story traveling to and fro Chandigarh. Kalka and Pinjore still have miles long traffic jams. The only silver lining right now is the road between Pinjore and Zirakpur is being four laned. This road will bypass Pinjore and Kalka town and will join the NH at Parwanoo. Hopefully, traveling will become a lot easier then. Roads in Shimla are in a mess, you realize once you cross Tara Devi. The highway is  still well maintained till Parwanoo. The main road from Tara Devi to Sanjouli via Lakkar Bazaar is in complete shambles these days. I am not sure whether Shimla roads are maintained by the PWD or Municipal Corporation. Whoever it may be, they have made a complete mess of the city. I wonder what poor impression tourists take of Shimla city.

Solan as a town has come up on the highway. Though the main bazaar is congested but traffic diversions during the day help in maintaining order on the roads. Solan has two bypass roads, one bypassing the city and other bypassing the old Barog road. Now this new bypass (the Barog one) is an engineering disaster. The gradient is fine but the width  of the road leaves a lot to be desired. The narrow turns make smooth cruising impossible. I do not use this road after dark and prefer to go via Barog. Buses in general also do not use this bypass and travel via Barog because of the very same reason. Another drawback is the poor quality of mettaling. This road is on the sunny side patch and apparently there is no valid reason for the poor road condition. Seems the PWD wing is not doing their work properly and honestly.

The highway from Dharampur to Koti near Parwanoo is now totally crowded and you will find shops, dhabas and hotels surrounding the NH. Clearly someone is busy minting money. Hotels are being constructed just next to the highway. Trees along the highway are disappearing mysteriously. HRTC buses still stop at those dingy dhabas at Sanwara. These are the dirtiest of the lot on the entire stretch. There is no provision of toilets and passengers can be seen relieving  in the open just across these dhabas. These have become eyesore on this stretch. The govt can build a nice stopover for buses and let HPTDC run this place in the similar fashion Haryana Tourism provides catering services to Haryana Roadways passengers on nominal rates. The best economical, neat and clean place run by Haryana Tourism is the tourist complex at Pipli. All Haryana Roadways ordinary buses stop here.

There is no highway policing anywhere on the highway. Even if it is, it is not at all visible. There are no helpline numbers mentioned anywhere in case of an accident or emergency. Bulk of the highway falls under Solan police district. The high traffic volume on this stretch is totally Ram Bharose.

To sum up, the administration has messed up this highway completely!!

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4 thoughts on “Nothing changed on Shimla-Parwanoo highway

  1. Haryana Tourism has many eating joints on the highway – like Parakeet and Oasis. Even though the cost is high – a masala dosa comes for about Rs 40 but they are clean at least. Himachal Tourism has only one – Shivalik (in Parwanoo), but the problem is that there is one – it isn’t strategically placed and doesn’t catch the eye; two there isn’t enough parking place (that works for me as very few pepole visit the place and I have some comfortable time for myself); three it is not promoted well. Only some of the Volvo buses stop here.

    In fact, I’d written an article, on the pathetic conditions of the dhabas on the Highway and forwarded it to the CM. They’d replied back and a pilot project was started, whereby training was imparted to dhabawallas on the Shimla-Shoghi highway, in Kufri Institute of hotel management, which I presume has come as a dud.

  2. I feel that cleanliness is not a way of life in the hills at all. Everyone is busy making fast buck. I was surprised to know that these dhabas are the official stop overs vetted by HRTC. This seems to be a big big racket. In fact the other stop overs on Bilaspur route are equally dismissal. Buses here stop at Chamakdi pul and Bharari ghat and their condition is again deplorable. Have you seen the ‘official’ dhaba of HRTC on the Delhi route near Pipli? It is a shack erected on four pillars and all ordinary HRTC buses stop here. HRTC simply fixes the rate for meals and do not pay proper attention for cleanliness and other public facilities. If you ever travel in Shimla hills, just see the HRTC dhaba at Matiana. The level of ‘cleanliness’ will shock you!!

    • I was thinking of visiting Shimala.Manalli this April fromBangalore.Tell me more about weather.roads and hygeine.Are the average hotels clean?How is Delhi in April,very hot?Which is the best time to go?

      • Hi Anupama
        Sorry for the delay in response as was traveling to Manali. April is the right time to travel as crowds start pouring in from May. Shimla roads are in a mess and there is nothing worthwhile to see around. For the record, Naldehara, Chail and Kufri are the places around Shimla. I would suggest staying at Chail and cover places around. Good options at Chail are HPTDC Palace hotel and Tarika Jungle Retreat. Shimla to Manali drive is good and the Highway from Bilaspur to Manali is in excellent condition. From Bhunter there is a diversion to the left bank for Manali. Do not take this route and carry on the right bank road as this is the best one to reach Manali. Taxi drivers take the left bank route normally to avoid Kullu bazaar traffic. Good hotels maintain hygine as a standard. My post about hygine was about the road side eateries. Nothing to worry about on this front. Use bottled water every where as a precaution. Happy travels!

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