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Old 21st July 2011, 18:19   #91
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Default Re: Maoists & Naxals

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
NH6, from Jashipur to Kharagpur (OR-JH-WB)

Bhutan Border (Samdrup Jhonkar) to Rangia (AS)

NH53, from Silchar to Imphal via Jiribam (ML-AS)

Kadiri to Penukonda (AP)[list]


Has anyone anything to add by way of hearsay, personal experiences?

Please keep adding to the list.
Jashipur to Kharagpur-Oct 2007 did the KGP to Barbil stretch in a Scorpio for office work.Absolute emergency dictated we started from Kolkata at around 4.30 PM in the afternoon and had to drive the entire stretch of WB-JH( 50 Kms) - OR and reach Barbil around 11.30. Our office driver Kamal and the GM Mr Baro are both fearless and superb drivers and belted the Scorpio at 120-130 KMPH all the time.It was frightening and adventorous in equal measure.CCR n LEd Zep on the stereo and eyes glued to the road. Agree the stretch is extremely dangerous and should be avoided if its not an emergency.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 23:09   #92
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

Hi guys,

came across this thread and thought this might be a good spot to kick off my first ever forum post.

This happened last year and involved a fair few people, and sadly animals.

The Equestrian Nationals were being held in Calcutta (sorry but i refuse to call it anything else) and a team comprising of privately owned horses as well as government mounts were in the process of being trucked for the event. They started off at Bhopal at the Madhya Pradesh Govt. run equestrian centre and were to reach Calcutta in 4 days. It usually takes us twice as long when we transport horses as we cannot exceed 45-50 kmph and also due to the frequent stops for water, feeding and inevitable medical attention that the animals need.

So, 2 trucks with 6 horses and 4 men + 2 drivers each are hurtling down the NH6. For some reason somewhere between Bargarh and Khendujar (its about 250 km between the two) the drivers of the trucks decided to take a detour to avoid a toll or something (the exact reason is unclear). Less that 15 kms after they had taken this detour they were stopped by a group of men (about 6-8 of them) who then proceeded to ask the drivers for "toll payment".

The drivers seemed to know what was happening but to their misfortune, the government employed grooms and horse-staff decided to try and push their weight around. Something along the lines of "This is a government vehicle and we don't pay tax or toll" was said.
Almost instantly the men fell on the vehicles and the men. What followed was a crazy brawl in which metal pipes, sticks, all sorts of leather and horse equipment was thrown about.

Damage report:
1. Both trucks windshields smashed along with all lights, indicators etc.
2. Serious denting to both vehicles.
3. Deflated/Slashed tyres.
4. All drivers sustained injuries, including on with a broken arm. (one of them fled)
5. All the equine staff (govt. & private) were injured with a couple of them having broken limbs and several of them requiring stitches.
6. 12 very very very spooked and scared horses.

Once the men were satisfied with the damage they had done, taken any material (all the leather equipment, grain, feed & medicines) and money (around Rs. 20,000) they could from the vehicles and the staff and after being convinced that no one was going anywhere, they left, probably to talk to a senior about what to do with the animals.

What happened afterwards is unclear, but they never came back.
The staff called the Bhopal Centre which then co-ordinated provisions, an escort and other supplies. These arrived only 3 days later.

The sad outcome:
1. The trucks finally got to Calcutta where they were fixed, it took them 10 days.
2. The horses were seriously malnourished and dehydrated on arrival, this led to the death of two of them. The rest remained weak and sick for several months to come (horses take time to recover from things like this)
3. The staff got patched up, and most of them were in slings and bandages for a while.
4. The owners of the horses and govt. sportsmen (who unlike us who always travel with our animals) took a flight to Calcutta only to find that they were unable to compete in those Nationals.

We have done this route several times since, in trucks, horse-floats and cars and have only once been pulled over for "toll" which we, as usual have gladly paid and passed through quietly. What I would suggest to anyone doing this route (the NH6 through Chattisgarh and Orissa) is that these guys, the Naxals, the Maoists etc do not go out of their way to harm civilians. If you are stopped, co-operate and they usually let you off quite politely. Just, for christs sake, never, ever, ever, claim to be anyone affiliated with the government, police, or army.
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Old 24th July 2011, 08:56   #93
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

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We have done this route several times since, in trucks, horse-floats and cars and have only once been pulled over for "toll" which we, as usual have gladly paid and passed through quietly. What I would suggest to anyone doing this route (the NH6 through Chattisgarh and Orissa) is that these guys, the Naxals, the Maoists etc do not go out of their way to harm civilians. If you are stopped, co-operate and they usually let you off quite politely. Just, for christs sake, never, ever, ever, claim to be anyone affiliated with the government, police, or army.
Sound advice - applies anywhere in India. I have always followed this policy whenever I have been stopped by such elements - in different parts of India - and I neither protest nor deny them some small money. Always be wary of diversions off the road, they can traps meant to snare motorists, this has happened to me in Assam.
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Old 24th July 2011, 18:43   #94
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

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Sound advice - applies anywhere in India. I have always followed this policy whenever I have been stopped by such elements - in different parts of India - and I neither protest nor deny them some small money. Always be wary of diversions off the road, they can traps meant to snare motorists, this has happened to me in Assam.
As highway people, I guess all of us have our own perspectives, but the way I see it, I would rather stand up against the goons who would rob us of a pleasant travel around our country rather than capitulate to their bullying tractics. Chief would recall how I dealt with the guys at that gate in Orissa - Jaleshwar was it?? (sorry, have neither an onboard GPS nor unlimited memory) and had my way too! The way I see it, any injustice I see on the road whether it is to draught animals (it happens all the time in Bihar, MP and Rajasthan), or pets, is dealt with swiftly and decisively. I have a low threshold for abuse of animals, children and women (in that order). With regard to the equines that were being carried by truck, I think it is as much the responsibility of the people who entrust the poor creatures to callous and maverick caretakers/syces as of the grooms/drivers themselves. The fact that two of God's most magnificient creations actually died from dehydration and malnutrition is appalling and at once unforgiveable. Equine lovers ought to come out with strong laws on how steeds are transported on pain of having their owners being debarred from shows if delinquency of any kind is detected. And BTW I hate this animation showing the baldy flogging the dead horse: deadhorse . I wince every time the baton hits the inert form. Would you please have someone take it off Chief? Pleeeeeaassseee?!!
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Old 25th July 2011, 02:28   #95
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

Sometimes it is smarter to get away with your life though. I think most people would agree that mao-ists/naxals are a formidable lot to deal with, especially when you are on their turf. If they have the gall to kidnap, decapitate and murder collectors, police officials and other senior government employees, i for one am much happier quietly paying their tolls and taking myself, my staff and my animals through peacefully. On some areas they even give you a receipt of payment so that you are not harassed by checkpoints further up.
I have a feeling we will need visas to travel through Chattisgarh pretty soon.

As for the transport of equines and animals - there are lots of laws, few of which are followed or enforced. India actually has some of the strictest animal welfare laws on the planet - almost no one knows this.
As far as maverick grooms are concerned - these were govt. guys, my own trucks followed much later, and cleared without any hassles.

When we transport our horses, we move in convoys, we have a Tata207 with flashing lights in the front and back to warn other traffic of slow moving vehicles- these pilot vehicles also serve as a means to clear the road so the trucks can move undeterred (we're the first ones in the country to properly transport equines). My team ALWAYS rides with the horses, regardless of how far the journey is. But, a lot of the equine fraternity come from the upper bourgeoise and the thought of spending or making their kids spend hours and days in the back of a truck is unthinkable.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 08:44   #96
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

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Agreed..very unsafe zone.
Has the situation on the Jhabua stretch improved since 2007 as far as dacoity and so on goes? I plan to travel from Nadiad to Dhar on NH 59 this weekend.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 09:03   #97
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Has the situation on the Jhabua stretch improved since 2007 as far as dacoity and so on goes? I plan to travel from Nadiad to Dhar on NH 59 this weekend.
More than safety issues - road is being widened and in a super-mess. Avoid NH59 from MP border onwards.

YOu can consider taking an alternative route which is narrow country roads but in good condition:
Halol-Bordeli-Alirajpur-Damnod-Dhar
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Old 23rd November 2011, 09:28   #98
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

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More than safety issues - road is being widened and in a super-mess. Avoid NH59 from MP border onwards.

YOu can consider taking an alternative route which is narrow country roads but in good condition:
Halol-Bordeli-Alirajpur-Damnod-Dhar
Thanks for your mail. But I must apologise for not giving my complete route. From Dhar I will be going to Mandu, Maheshwar and back to Pune. Dhamnod will be a longer route. Is the road work so bad to still back track to Dhar and returning to Mandu-Maheshwar later? Besides the only road to Mandu is from the direction of Dhar. Suppose I leave Nadiad at 7 am, would five or six hours suffice to get to Dhar, even considering the mess the NH 59 will be in? If the Jhabua section is safe now that is!
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Old 10th June 2012, 08:15   #99
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Default Re: Unsafe roads

As per an article in today's TOI, NH39 is possibly India's most dangerous highway. Read the complete story here
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