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!!