Tags: darjeeling


Border Roads Organization

Throughout our travels in the Darjeeling/Gangtok/Kalimpong areas we were on roads built and maintained by the Border Roads Organization. This is probably an army or a partially-army organization..clearly, the discipline was visible everywhere. Most of the roads were in good condition, and where the condition was bad, because of landslips, it was easy to see how much effort goes into keeping up the roads in such adverse climactic conditions....earth movers and bulldozers were hard at work even as we made our way through.

The BRO also has put up various signboards everywhere, reminding users of the roads to whom they are indebted for the roads they travel over. The only thing they do not tell users of the roads is...how and where to contact them to thank them for their efforts!

Some of the signs are also funny pieces of rhyming verse..."after whisky, driving is risky"...."you want to last, then why go so fast?"...we amused ourselves by making up others, like, "don't fall asleep and take an involuntary leap"!

If only we had such efficient organization in charge of our roads here at Bangalore! The flyover supposed to be finished by April 2003 is l;yet languishing,and todays' papers carry the news item that the contracto, UP State Bridge Coropration,is not even thinking of finishing the work contracted for....crores have been poured into the construction (or lack of it) so far....and we continue to suffer....by the time the flyover is finished, traffic volumes would have long since overtaken the planning and the bad traffic conditions will continue....

I wish we could shoot corrupt officials...at least I wish we could Identify them and publish their photographs in the paper!

Sikkim and the Himalayas

The Himalayas...any Indian who has not seen this awesome sight MUST try to see it sometime....every time it awes and humbles one completely. How can one be petty after seeing the sight of the beautiful, majestic peaks?

I also find that any place which has only recently (comparitively speaking) become a part of India is much cleaner and more disciplined than the rest of the country...Goa and Sikkim are what I base this observation on. Sikkim is so lovely....waterfalls everywhere, greenery, people who are genuinely friendly.....we had a fabulous trip.

Another factor is the presence of the Army everywhere in the hill areas...the roads are maintained by them, and perhaps they contribute to the feeling of overall discipline...the work being done on the landslide sites shows how much of effort goes into maintaining the hill roads in motorable condition. I am very impressed.

In Kolkata today....enjoying nostalgia, as I visit scenes from the past...amazing, the buildings which were ramshackle and ready to break down 30 years ago, are there in the same condition today! However, orbital roads are excellent, as is the Metro. My spouse would like to live here, he says!

Resolving to travel as much in India as possible as long as both of us are in good health!

Trip to the NorthEast

Looking forward very much to the trip to Kolkata, scene of my childhood, and then Darjeeling and Gangtok...will write in my impressions of how things have changed in the last 28 years since I traversed that path last!

Summer has set in in Bangalore...the jacaranda and the tabebuia trees are in full bloom and the roads (or what passes for them) are carpets of purple and yellow....

The flyover near our home is to be inaugurated (well, part of it, actually) this evening...more traffic jams while corrupt ministers come and try to take credit for what has been delayed beyond a year....