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Old 18th November 2016, 15:48   #781
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Will you please mention what time did you start from Calcutta and when did you reach Siliguri? Also, some pictures have come out upside down, so for the benefit of all the viewers, please post them once again.
Started at morning 0600 hrs from Kolkata and reached Siliguri at 2000 hrs. Drove at an medium pace with top speeds between 90 to 100 kmph wherever the road and traffic permitted.
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Old 15th December 2016, 15:25   #782
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Currently which would be the best route (with respect to road conditions) to take from Kolkata to Lataguri with an overnight halt at Raiganj ?

Would not mind travelling a few extra miles via alternate routes provided road conditions are good.

Would appreciate your inputs here.

Thanks!
SD
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Old 16th December 2016, 11:27   #783
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Word of Caution : Effect of the recent demonetization by the Govt. Of India on the NH-34 Route

I should have updated this thread sometime ago with my recent experience, but unfortunately could not due to unavoidable circumstances. This happened sometime in the 3rd week of November 2016.

NH-34 is no new to me and have travelled on it umpteen number of time in the past 15 years at all odd hours of the day and night. I always found it to be the safest specially for night travel while travelling to north Bengal and Sikkim.

I was out on a business tour wherein i was returning from Malda to Behrampore and had a planned overnight hault at Behrampore. At around 8:15pm, I crossed Farakka and was heading towards Dhuliyan. On approaching the Ballalpur (Single Vehicle Iron) Bridge, I was waiting for an oncoming bus to cross in order to get onto the bridge when a vehicle came right behind me and started honking. I moved onto the bridge and then onwards on the 4 lane highway, the vehicle refused to overtake and kept on honking. Then I speeded my way ahead and the vehicle followed. After sometime I suddenly slowed down in order to give way to the car behind me and check what the vehicle behind me was upto. It finally overtook. It was a Barrackpore registered private number Tata Indigo eCS.

The vehicle again slowed down before me and I overtook it again. It frantically started honking again and asked for way. I gladly gave way to it. It again started to slow down and now started to block my way disallowing me to overtake from either sides. The intention seemed clear now. We were approaching Dhuliyan now and I could see the faint reflection of the Radium Road Sign ahead. I slowed down further and gave the left indicator as I approached the Dhuliyan Junction thereby conveying to the car ahead that I was headed for turning into Dhuliyan Bazaar.

Seeing my indication, the Indigo pulled to the LHS on the junction trying to block my way. The driver and co-passenger got off and approached my car. My plan had worked ! This is what I wanted. The road behind me was emptying no vehicles and I shifted to 2nd Gear and went full throttle by immediately turning the car to the extreme right of the NH34 highway and just gunned the Figo ahead on NH34 towards Behrampore. Their reaction time to block me on the Dhuliyan Junction went in vain and I got away.

I checked with my channel partner in Dhuliyan the next day and was informed that there is a lot of loot happening near the Ballalpur Bridge wherein Kolkata Registered Vehicles are being targeted due to the prevailing cash crisis.

I am not trying to create any fear here. Just plan your travel accordingly so that you do not cross this stretch after dark while travelling on this route in the given situation.

Take Care, Be Agile and Drive Safe brothers !
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Old 16th December 2016, 12:19   #784
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Word of Caution :
there is a lot of loot happening near the Ballalpur Bridge wherein Kolkata Registered Vehicles are being targeted due to the prevailing cash crisis.


I am not trying to create any fear here. Just plan your travel accordingly so that you do not cross this stretch after dark while travelling on this route in the given situation.
Scary situation all right. Such attenpted robberies used to be frequent in the JH-BR NH2/AH1 stretch till the new highway came up. Have been tailed a couple of times with attempts to overtake and stop. One of their tricks was to try and place wooden boards with nails stuck into them (throwing these out of the car), so one gets a flat tyre and is forced to stop further ahead.

A quick fix solution I have followed (and still would) is to pull into a petrol pump (if one can find one). Or a dhaba with lots of trucks parked therein - and take a break for some time. They don't usually try to follow you in there. Petrol pumps have cash to protect, and long distance truck drivers understand your position and would happily bring out their armamentarium if threatened by such robbers.
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Old 17th December 2016, 18:54   #785
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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A quick fix solution I have followed (and still would) is to pull into a petrol pump (if one can find one). Or a dhaba with lots of trucks parked therein - and take a break for some time. They don't usually try to follow you in there. Petrol pumps have cash to protect, and long distance truck drivers understand your position and would happily bring out their armamentarium if threatened by such robbers.
Agreed !! Though this was not the first time that I have been chased on the highway and what you mentioned is exactly what I would have done in the given situation. I have experienced such situations in the past too, but never on the said stretch. This stretch is a mere 9Km stretch (where one would get not more than 10 minutes) in which the looting is happening and neither will you find a Dhaba or a Petrol Pump in this short stretch. Hope no one encounters a "Gone in 600 Seconds" scenario
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Old 26th December 2016, 13:23   #786
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Dear Friends,
I would be driving to Siliguri from Kolkata on 30th December.
I will leave Kolkata around 3 or 4 PM & will drive till 9.30/10 PM & take a stopover.Next day early morning I will start afresh to reach Siliguri.
Request help with regard to the route & the place to halt for the night.
Regards
Samrat
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Old 26th December 2016, 23:46   #787
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Is there any broken bridge or culvert anywhere between Panchgram and Moregram on SH-7? I was diverted by the police at Panchgram (on my way to Moregram) yesterday. I was diverted towards Palsanda. Also, if there is anyone in this forum who has taken the Moregram-Panagarh route, I request him to share the current road condition. Thanks.
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Old 27th December 2016, 07:54   #788
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Is there any broken bridge or culvert anywhere between Panchgram and Moregram on SH-7?
No, everything was ok last month.

Check these updates:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post4091575 (Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post4104554 (Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes)
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Old 27th December 2016, 11:29   #789
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Is there any broken bridge or culvert anywhere between Panchgram and Moregram on SH-7? I was diverted by the police at Panchgram (on my way to Moregram) yesterday. I was diverted towards Palsanda. Also, if there is anyone in this forum who has taken the Moregram-Panagarh route, I request him to share the current road condition. Thanks.
I did see a No Entry notice board towards NH-60 at the Morgram junction of NH-34 on Dec 25, 2016 while I was driving to Malda. Although, I did not stop there but from a glance at the notice board it looked like that the road was closed due to the damaged "Gambhira bridge". If I am not wrong, this small bridge is located around a km from Morgram junction along NH-60 and it is just in the middle of SH-7 junction and NH-34 junction.

It looks to be a season of broken bridges. This time I was driving through full NH-34 as Ishwar Gupta Setu over Hooghly river at Kalyani is now closed indefinitely due to a major damage. Most of the south-bound trucks plying on NH-34 used to take this bridge to reach Delhi road/GT Road/NH-2.

Finally, even the road surface on Farakka barrage is in an extremely bad shape now. It now takes around 20-25 minutes just to cross this 2.25 km bridge. Unless one is careful, the pothole will swallow the wheels of any hatchback. Honestly, I don't recall seeing Farakka barrage road in such an utter neglect in ages and I won't be surprised if it closes to road traffic soon.

Last edited by gmhossain : 27th December 2016 at 11:34.
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Old 4th January 2017, 11:09   #790
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I drove to Siliguri on 31st Dec left my place in Salt Lake ,Kolkata at around 6.30 am and reached Siliguri at around 8.30 pm.


I had used only NH 34 and Botobari/Dhantola detour. Congestion was encountered for about 20 minutes in Berhampore and around 30 minutes in Islampur.The entire route didn't have any bad stretch except the Farakka Bridge which had large craters and took 20 minutes to cross over. Took Salt Lake /Kalyani Expressway /Bara Jaguli till Krishnagar, though the road was good and there were no traffic jams but till Krishnagar due to heavy movement of two wheelers/rickshaws/slow moving tempos and the worst slow movers i.e. tractors , the average speed I clocked was around 35 kmph. From Krishnagar the road has been relaid with diversions till Berhampore and 4 laning was going on and it was smooth sailing on this stretch too, other than occasional construction diversions.


From Berhampore right till Siliguri was perfect 4 lane roads had a smooth sailing but I couldn’t average 90 as my front wheel had a balancing offset.
Took the Botobari/Dhantola detour around 4.15 pm and suddenly my car mobile charger got overheated and stopped working. This detour cannot be done at night unless you are GPS assisted as large no. of offshoots take you to the same destination, thankfully my mobile power lasted till just 7 km of the stretch was left and it was already too dark, though this stretch is smooth but in the dark you can't see the meandering turns and I was about to get off onto the paddy fields when I speeded on an unnoticed or lately notice sharp turn.

Would like to thank my fellow BHP ians and particularly Mr.G.M.Hossain for the updates that allowed me to decide on the route. Also the new Google Maps update was giving congestion / traffic jam warnings very correctly almost 30 minutes before hand and also advising on alternate routes which i used in Berhampore.

Thanks
Samrat

Last edited by ampere : 4th January 2017 at 11:48.
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Old 9th January 2017, 22:35   #791
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Due to a damaged bridge, the stretch of NH-60 that connects NH-34 at Morgram, is now closed. So while returning from Malda, I took following diversion in order to head towards Rampurhat along NH-60. This diversion was suggested by the civic volunteers posted at the Morgram crossing. It's around 8 km long and runs parallel to the railway tracks via Morgram-Lohapur-Katagaria. This village road has stretches of concrete, metalled and morrum surfaces but doable in a Hatchback. Here are few pictures of the diversion:

Route Map of the diversion
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-morgramlohapurkatagaria.png

Stretch between Morgram and Lohapur
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-p1.jpg

Stretch between Morgram and Lohapur
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-p2.jpg

Stretch between Morgram and Lohapur
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-p3.jpg


Finally, in the memory of countless hours that were lost, and lost forever, by fellow BHPians and others who had to cross the infamous traffic mess at Kaliachak along NH-34, let me share a short clip

Last edited by gmhossain : 9th January 2017 at 22:43.
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Old 11th January 2017, 12:29   #792
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post


(3) NH-34:

The toll operation (for ~82 KM 4-laned stretch) has began from this week for Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34. The remaining stretches of this section are: Malda bypass ~ 10 km and Sujapur stretch ~8 km. The Barasat-Krishanagar-Baharampur stretch of NH-34 is also in reasonably good shape.


So overall, NH-2/SH7/NH-34 with Botolbari detour is the best option for Kolkata-Siliguri route now.

Cheers,

Been long since I have replied to this thread, but can you elaborate on this 'Malda Bypass' ? Planning to hit the road again and following the thread have decided to take the Nh-2/ SH-7 route (Since Panchgram to Moregram stretch has been repaired and overall this is the best route to take now as per @1100D.) A bypass to Malda would be just perfect.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11th January 2017, 16:17   #793
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by shourya_lahiri View Post
Been long since I have replied to this thread, but can you elaborate on this 'Malda Bypass' ? Planning to hit the road again and following the thread have decided to take the Nh-2/ SH-7 route (Since Panchgram to Moregram stretch has been repaired and overall this is the best route to take now as per @1100D.) A bypass to Malda would be just perfect.
Thanks in advance.
I had followed exactly what Google Maps instructed i.e. Sultanganj,Kaliachak,Hatkhola,Malda,Mangalbari,Jad upur,Pandua & Gazole,there was a 5 min traffic signal hold up in Malda town, else I had cruised along at 80 kmph.

Yes I did get confused when Google Maps was throwing up "Malda Bypass",which I thought might be a road bypassing Malda town, but later I found its a crossing in NH34 which connects to another road called Malda Bypass.

In fact I still dont know what people are talking about Malda bypass road,or did I unknowingly use the Malda Bypass, then why did I cross the crowded 4 point crossing, I found smooth sailing so I am bit confused.

I can just tell you i was following G maps & I crossed Kaliachak & Malda town without any hiccups.

Regards

Samrat Mukherji
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Old 11th January 2017, 17:35   #794
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by shourya_lahiri View Post
Been long since I have replied to this thread, but can you elaborate on this 'Malda Bypass' ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samratrek View Post
In fact I still dont know what people are talking about Malda bypass road,or did I unknowingly use the Malda Bypass, then why did I cross the crowded 4 point crossing, I found smooth sailing so I am bit confused.
"Malda bypass" is around 10 KM long, greenfield alignment of NH-34 which is under-construction at the moment. It will skirt Malda Town (English Bazar) completely along its eastern side. Although, it is not open to thru traffic yet but some stretches are already being used by locals.

Malda bypass was supposed to be operational by last December which was missed. The revised deadline is March 2017 (very likely to be missed again). To add to the confusion, HCC has already put up multiple road signage along Baharampur-Farakka section where it is mentioned "Malda Bypass: XY km".
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Old 11th January 2017, 22:21   #795
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Very nice. So Malda Bypass etc etc ... Cancelled! One less variable is always welcome
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