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Old 26th May 2014, 16:56   #346
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
I have just returned from a trip to Malda from Kolkata. I took the route via State Highway 7:

Kona Expressway-Durgapur Expressway-Burdwan-Khargram-Panchgram-Moregram-Farakka-Malda.

The stretches of the NH34 four lane work is complete and the State Highway 7 is in very healthy state(better than NH34, and you bypass the worst section of NH34 between Barasat and Baharampur).

I have shared the route details with the pictures in my travelogue:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ear-malda.html (Trip: The historic ruins of Gaur (near Malda))
Hi, missed this nice travelogue. I just loved the hot puri/ langcha which they serve immediately on the road side hotels after coming out of Durgapur expressway !! Its good that an alternative route is on the cards, we can consider this as an option in the days to come to travel up to Siliguri.
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Old 26th May 2014, 17:46   #347
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
Its good that an alternative route is on the cards, we can consider this as an option in the days to come to travel up to Siliguri.
For the time being, Yes. Until NH34 revives fully, which I think won't happen in a year to come at least.
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Old 27th May 2014, 07:48   #348
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
I have just returned from a trip to Malda from Kolkata. I took the route via State Highway 7:

Kona Expressway-Durgapur Expressway-Burdwan-Khargram-Panchgram-Moregram-Farakka-Malda.

The stretches of the NH34 four lane work is complete and the State Highway 7 is in very healthy state(better than NH34, and you bypass the worst section of NH34 between Barasat and Baharampur).
According to news, the construction firm HCC has now began toll operation for the Baharampur - Farakka (101 KM) section of NH-34 starting from May 14 (just after the last election day) with two toll booths (one after Palsanda towards south and the other one after Morgram towards north). Given your route, you had to cross the second booth. So I am wondering whether you returned before 14th May or after? Any idea about toll amount on this booth?


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Golam
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Old 27th May 2014, 11:46   #349
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
According to news, the construction firm HCC has now began toll operation for the Baharampur - Farakka (101 KM) section of NH-34 starting from May 14 (just after the last election day) with two toll booths (one after Palsanda towards south and the other one after Morgram towards north). Given your route, you had to cross the second booth. So I am wondering whether you returned before 14th May or after? Any idea about toll amount on this booth?
Thanks,
Golam
You are right! I drove through the new tollway after Moregram. But my trip was on 1st May - 4th May. At that time the tollway was in Integration testing mode, whereby the cars were stopped and passed through without paying any fees. I asked them, they said the Testing phase is going on.
You can look at my travelogue to see the tollgate picture.

Thanks! for the news that it is productive since 14th May.
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Old 27th May 2014, 22:02   #350
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
You are right! I drove through the new tollway after Moregram. But my trip was on 1st May - 4th May. At that time the tollway was in Integration testing mode, whereby the cars were stopped and passed through without paying any fees. I asked them, they said the Testing phase is going on.
You can look at my travelogue to see the tollgate picture.
.
Yes, I read your travelogue. It's pretty good!

Just a curiosity: The toll booth in your pic, is it the one near Kaliachak as mentioned or the one near Morgram? The toll both before Kaliachak is in Farakka Raiganj section of NH-34. The 4-laning work of this section has not yet reached 75% mark which is the minimum requirement for toll operation to begin as per as NHAI-HCC agreement. Reportedly, HCC is expecting to begin toll operation for Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34 only in later part of this year.

Best,
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Old 28th May 2014, 13:35   #351
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Yes, I read your travelogue. It's pretty good!

Just a curiosity: The toll booth in your pic, is it the one near Kaliachak as mentioned or the one near Morgram? The toll both before Kaliachak is in Farakka Raiganj section of NH-34. The 4-laning work of this section has not yet reached 75% mark which is the minimum requirement for toll operation to begin as per as NHAI-HCC agreement. Reportedly, HCC is expecting to begin toll operation for Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34 only in later part of this year.

Best,
Thanks!

The toll booth in the picture is indeed the one near Moregram. The one near Kaliachak is in contruction phase, and you have to pass through a diversion on the left to bypass the tollway in progress.
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Old 30th May 2014, 08:22   #352
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
The toll booth in the picture is indeed the one near Moregram. The one near Kaliachak is in contruction phase, and you have to pass through a diversion on the left to bypass the tollway in progress.
Yes, you are right.

BTW, as you mentioned in the travelogue, the widening of NH-34 inside Kaliachak town has always been a matter of concern for all NH-34 users. After the original plan (as per DPR) to construct a greenfield bypass for Kaliachak was called off due to land acquisition issue, around end-January this year a new plan to widen it along the existing the carriageway was taken.

Around sometime in March this year, the authority in fact had demolished/removed most of the encroachments inside the town. However, during the election period the widening work effectively came to a halt. This led hawkers to make a comeback and the vacated land was re-encroached.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 21:08   #353
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Just returned from Malda. Horrible roads after Farakka going towards Malda. Stuck in a jam as usual in Kaliachak.

Toll started after after Moregram, Rs 40.

Sad news is that the road from Siuri to Moregram through Nalhati has deteriorated significantly, and from Darjeeling more to Siuri is also not in such a great condition.

Next time it seems that I will have to go throush SH7.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 10:48   #354
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Had been through the Bolpur-Siuri-Dumka-Bhagalpur-Purnea route last weekend.

The update is that the section in Bihar, from Voljore to the point where the route meets NH31 at Naugachia is in Shambles.

Just before entering Bhagalpur (around Punsia) a culvert has given away and one needs to take a 4.5km detour through narrow village roads (and the resultant bottlenecks, we got held up for 1.5 hours just to negotiate this on the way to Siliguri) just to emerge at the opposite end of the culvert. Although this narrow road is concrete, to allow vehicles from the otherside to cross, one will need to drop the left wheel from the concrete to slushy ground, sometimes the drop is quite big for cars/hatches.

Again crossing Bhagalpur is more of a pain now, even the byepass is congested.

After crossing Vikramsila, one can opt to take the alternate road on right to Naugachia, but that road is narrow and although the surface is good, the progress will be slow, due to village traffic. Infact the main road, although in Shambles, would probably result in the same time to cross it, driven carefully.

Roads Past Dalkhola again, sporadic potholes till Kishanganj.

Roads in Jharkhand are better but you still have to negotiate approaches and departure to culverts.

The Underpass at Bhedia on the route to Bolpur was inundated, was upto almost Scorpio bonnet. However there is a narrow road on the left that actually passes under the Bhedia station, which is also an underpass, with less water for smaller cars to pass.

All in All, even this alternate route to Siliguri now has probably lost its USP of being a relatively smoother run, besides this route has now become quite popular with Truckers and thus you encounter more trucks on this route than ever before, quite a contrast to the first time I did this route, when we hardly saw around 20 trucks in all from Dumka to Bhagalpur.

Even roadblocks are becoming common on this route for slightest of reasons, so the predictability and assurance of reaching Siliguri within a fixed timeline does not hold anymore.

So NH34 or this one, take your pick. Now its a matter of which ordeal you would rather like to face and what you'd be better off avoiding.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 17:22   #355
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I would suggest regulars coming to North Bengal from Calcutta to take the NH-34 just to know as to how it is at the moment. Kaliachak & Dalkola are the same, still.

While searching on Google Maps, I see 2-3 routes, not mentioned is my regular, when I used to frequent Calcutta, via Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Berhampore Jungipur to Farrakah onwards. I see an alternate route marked on Google Maps. How is it? Via Hooghly-Chinsurah or to take another, via Burdwan to Morgram? Is Rampurhat also known as Morgram?

I believe Bhagalpur compensates for Kaliachak & Dalkola.
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Old 23rd August 2014, 02:48   #356
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I believe Bhagalpur compensates for Kaliachak & Dalkola.
We did the Kolkata-Siliguri via Bhagalpur as well and Bhagalpur was a breeze compared to what we have faced in Dalkhola on previous occasions.
Though I have done this route several times before, I made a mistake while coming back. I missed the turn off point at Pattabari for Massanjore and lost about 1 hour 15 minutes as I had gone towards Rampurhat. Attaching the image from the GPX that will give some idea (encircled in red).

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-bhagalpur.jpg
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Old 23rd August 2014, 11:44   #357
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post

I believe Bhagalpur compensates for Kaliachak & Dalkola.
Dalkhola can be Avoided if one takes the Botolbari-Islampur route. Though still one has to negotiate 10kms of suspect surface from Botolbari to Raiganj.

Bhagalpur (and Dumka also) on the otherhand is relatively much easier if one travelling in the non-business hours.

But for day travellers (as in start early morning and drive during the day) both of these towns would be quite congested, and if there are no roadblocks on the NH34 route (past Moregram), I guess taking Kolkata-Burdwan-Moregram-Raiganj-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri can probably be given a try. Atleast there are some 4-lane sections where one can push.
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Old 23rd August 2014, 12:12   #358
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Dalkhola can be Avoided if one takes the Botolbari-Islampur route. Though still one has to negotiate 10kms of suspect surface from Botolbari to Raiganj.

Bhagalpur (and Dumka also) on the otherhand is relatively much easier if one travelling in the non-business hours.

But for day travellers (as in start early morning and drive during the day) both of these towns would be quite congested, and if there are no roadblocks on the NH34 route (past Moregram), I guess taking Kolkata-Burdwan-Moregram-Raiganj-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri can probably be given a try. Atleast there are some 4-lane sections where one can push.
Take the SH7 from burdwan till moregram. Less traffic and pretty good road.(barring a few speedbreakers at the village crossovers)
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Old 23rd August 2014, 13:13   #359
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
While searching on Google Maps, I see 2-3 routes, not mentioned is my regular, when I used to frequent Calcutta, via Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Berhampore Jungipur to Farrakah onwards. I see an alternate route marked on Google Maps. How is it? Via Hooghly-Chinsurah or to take another, via Burdwan to Morgram? Is Rampurhat also known as Morgram?
No, Morgram is a different place from Rampurhat. They are around 40 KM apart from each other along NH-60. At Morgram, NH-60 merges with NH-34.

Hooghly-Chinsurah portion of the route is basically the old GT Road. This road is quite narrow and current surface condition is also very very bad in stretches. Via Burdwan (through NH-2) to Morgram is definitely a better choice. Between Burdwan and Morgam, there are two possible routes:

(A) Burdwan-Bolpur-Suri-Rampurhat-Nalhati-Morgram:
This route is approximately 180 KM. It's mostly a combination of NH-2B and NH-60 and has been a popular route among fellow BHPians.

(B) Burdwan-Malgankot-Futishako-Kuli-Nagar-Morgram:
This route is approx 130 KM and is is entirely on SH-7. Several BHPians have reported taking this routes recently. Personally, I have driven twice through this route. Considering the current situations of other option and it's being shorter, I would suggest to consider this route between Burdwan and Morgram at present.
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Old 23rd August 2014, 13:22   #360
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Take the SH7 from burdwan till moregram. Less traffic and pretty good road.(barring a few speedbreakers at the village crossovers)
Absolutely, that's what I was meaning to refer to when I mentioned the post below, in a hurry forgot to mention it as SH7.

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
I guess taking Kolkata-Burdwan-Moregram-Raiganj-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri can probably be given a try. Atleast there are some 4-lane sections where one can push.
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