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Old 26th August 2008, 11:26   #1
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Default Burdwan to Kolkata despite Mamata

With Mamata Banerjee organising an impromptu rasta roko around Singur, which is on the GQ north of Kolkata and south of Burdwan, there is utter confusion on the road to Kolkata from north.
I had gone to Garh Panchakot on Saturday and was coming back to Kolkata on Monday. We knew there was confusion but didn't realise how serious it was. Just south of Shaktigarh we saw a huge line of trucks blocking the GQ for miles on end - the road curves there and you can see a long distance. Since GQ was blocked the truckers were all trying to get into the old GT Road and GT Road had become chock a block full of vehicles.
I decided not to enter the confusion and turned our vehicle around. This was at 2.30 pm.
We went through Burdwan town, Katwa, Nabadwip, Kalna, Tribeni, Kalyani, Barrackpore, Barasat and finally to Kolkata. This meant an extra six seven hours of driving. We finally reached home at 10 pm.
The condition of Kalyani Expressway is simply pathetic.
I would like to know from experts on this stretch about other alternative routes to Kolkata for future. I am told there is a direct route to Kalna from Burdwan rather than via Katwa, but I didn't take that route because I wasn't aware of the road condition there, though it would have reduced the distance considerably. I was reasonably confident of the road via Katwa (where I go every now and then) so took that.
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Sudipto
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Old 26th August 2008, 11:35   #2
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That's quite an expedition itself Sudipto !
Waiting for your write up and picture of
Garpanchkot.

Cheers
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Old 26th August 2008, 12:11   #3
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Yes Captdey almost an adventure in itself !! One sad thing I realised while driving at night through this stretch - virtually the entire route was in a load shedding. We drove through darkness almost. Quite representative of the current condition of our state.
I would post the GP Kot pictures later tonight from home. In a few words - it is worth a trip. Very very good experience, in short.
Sudipto
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Old 26th August 2008, 20:00   #4
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Sudipto, been reading about the Mamta blockades on the Durgapur expressway. Where exactly is Singur - near Burdwan?

Curious to know what happened to the original NH2 after the expressway was built - thought the Durgapur expressway was a completely new road.

Which is the Kalyani Expressway? Have been on he link beween Nh34 and Nh2 near Kalyani across the bridge over Hooghly several years ago, am ignorant of the current road routes. Will appreciate some info.
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Old 29th August 2008, 22:34   #5
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HVK
Sorry I missed your query earlier. Singur is in Hooghly district, just south of Burdwan district on the new Durgapur Expressway. It is closer to Kolkata than to Burdwan. The new expressway is indeed a completely new road from Shaktigarh (south of B'wan) to Dankuni and is now officially NH2. The earlier road is now just called Delhi Road. So Delhi Road is to the east of the new 4-lane road and is more or less parallel to the expressway (there are many very narrow connecting roads that connect these two at various points and the distance between old Delhi Road and the new expressway would be anything from 10 to 30 km at various points). These two roads meet at Shaktigarh in north and Dankuni in south. Further to the east of Delhi Road is the ancient GT Road (the mother of all roads in India).
Further to the east of GT Road is the river Ganga.
If you go west to east at Bandel and cross the Ganga at a place called Bansberia (where Dunlop had its historic tyre factory) you reach Kalyani - a small university town. If you turn south here you hit Kalyani Expressway which runs upto Barrackpore (where the Sepoy Mutiny happened). This again is parallel to NH 34. So from Kalyani instead of turning south if you went straight east you would reach NH 34.
If it sounds too complicated, just visualise these roads more or less parallel to each other (east to west) - NH 34, Kalyani Expressway, Ganga, GT Road, Delhi Road, Durgapur Expressway.
Let the name Kalyani Expressway not fool you please. It is a bloody narrow two lane road full of pot holes and goes through the jute manufacturing belt of Bengal. It has been proposed to be made into a 4-lane highway. Let's keep our fingers crossed on that.
I hope I didn't completely confuse you !! And sorry again for the late response.
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Old 29th August 2008, 22:42   #6
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Oops. I find you went from NH2 to NH 34 long ago !! I think you crossed over from Bandel. The bridge is called Ishwar Gupta Setu and has a famous temple with a unique Russian architecture called Hanseswari (do these names ring a bell?). And indeed you would have gone through Kalyani.
Delhi Road is now used by only local truckers. I often use it for the sake of nostalgia. Love the shade of the old trees. But right now it is chock-a-block full with trucks stranded due to Mamata's agitation. What a criminal offence to hold those poor truckers to ransom like this. But anyway .........
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Old 30th August 2008, 01:45   #7
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Wow - that is an encyclopedia - thanks, Sudipto. Yes, I went from NH34 to NH2 over the Ishwar Gupta Setu on the old NH2 which used to intersect NH6 20 kms before Howrah.
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Old 30th August 2008, 06:33   #8
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These days people going from North Bengal to north India typically take the Panagarh-Moregram highway. It connects NH2 with NH34 at these two places respectively. The road surface used to be brilliant when it was made about 8-10 years ago, but it is deteriorating now in places. Moregram is to the north of Behrampore and south of Farakka. Panagarh I am sure you know.
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