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Old 28th June 2012, 14:55   #16
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Well, true but not for Vapi-Surat stretch. I avoid crossing Vapi at 6pm or about going towards Surat and 4pm or about going towards Mumbai. The guys who head in either direction guns their vehicle. Accords, Cruzes, Corollas are driven at insane speeds. Infact I've seen woman driving Scorpio with one hand hanging out and 2 wheels on the dirt doing 90+kmph and happily passing all vehicles from the left.
Why spare Surat- Bharuch - Baroda? Its the same as you mention at times. 6 lane creates more 'options' to overtake - from left, right and center and this is rightly what plagues such corridors.
Hence, the overall better driving experience on GJ roads is mostly on 2 lane(Veraval-Porbandar-Dwarka-Jamnagar circuit) and other 4 lane highways where at least the driver strictly has one choice to overtake - Only from right!
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Old 28th June 2012, 15:31   #17
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Post Diwali last year, I had made a 8 day/3000 km GJ tour covering most of the must see places. I must say, that inspite of driving distance being in the range of 300-400 kms between cities of importance, one hardly feels any fatigue.

Good roads of course is 1 reason, but the traffic density is also significantly lower. Unlike states like MH/AP/KA, GJ does not see a lot of trucks in transit from North to South. This puts significant load on an otherwise inadequate infrastructure.
A good rail network exists in GJ going all the way to Okha. Rail transport is far cheaper than road and I did not see as many container trucks as seen on most other Highways like NH4/NH3.
The NE1 is a dream run and much much better than MPEW, even with it's just 2 lanes each side.

Agreed on the lane disciple - one hardly needs to flash lights or honk twice. Right of way is practiced right!
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Old 28th June 2012, 15:33   #18
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

The road connectivity as well as the surfaces is pretty awesome all around. Now i will tell you an incident. I drive on the Ahmedabad to Surat stretch very often. Atleast once in 3-4 weeks. The drive from Home to Wifey's home in Surat is exactly 295 kms. Normally we start from home here around early morning to avoid the industrial rush at both ends. and it takes us about 3 hours home to home.

In 2010 we had set off on a road trip around Coorg, Hampi, Jog falls etc. At one point we had a stretch of 450 kms to cover and me and my cousin got down with route planning. Now we are so used to 295 kms in 3 hours, we based our calculations on that. So we estimated 5 to 5.5 hours to cover 450 kms. Eventually we made it in 11 hours

What i am trying to say is, due to these amazing surfaces here; a lot of mis calculations happen when in other regions. When one state can, why can't the others?

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Old 28th June 2012, 15:36   #19
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I travel frequently between Mumbai-Surat and I've traveled quite a bit in the interiors of Surat and some villages in the suburbs of Surat. All the roads are excellent once you enter Gujarat. Even the interior roads are superb within the city. The roads which connect the city to the various villages and even in between some of the villages are excellent - no potholes at all. In fact locals are not aware of the concept of potholes. But sadly the drivers are the same everywhere. It's more like human behavior, which remains the same no matter where you go. In fact driving within the Surat or for that matter any city in Gujarat is extremely difficult for someone coming from Mumbai. There are just 1-2 main signals in the city at junctions which people follow only if there are policeman manning it. Otherwise it's a free for all normally.
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Old 28th June 2012, 15:41   #20
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Yes In a word it can be replicated across India provided there is enough policing and enforcement.

On Chennai ECR stretch I notice police using speed radars to ensure LMVs dont cross speed limit of 40 kmph. On the other hand, private buses, vans, tempo travellers etc speed at 80kmph in front of police and they do not care.

As long as enforcement is equal and fair, the whole Indian highway network will become world-class.
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Old 28th June 2012, 15:45   #21
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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Originally Posted by h@r$h@l View Post
What i am trying to say is, due to these amazing surfaces here; a lot of mis calculations happen when in other regions. When one state can, why can't the others?

Regards,
Very true. It takes me closer to 6 hours to cover the 240 km Delhi-jaipur stretch. Whereas I was able to finish the 420 km Vadodara-jamnagar run in flat 4 and a half hours. Cannot wait to take my own car to vadodara, either Altis or sunny. GJ highways would give me ample space to finally put that 6th gear in the Altis to good use.
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Old 28th June 2012, 17:38   #22
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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There are ports in other places of the country. Is the situation similar there?
As far as i know, Kandla is the biggest and the highest earning port of India.
Major imports entering Kandla port are petroleum, chemicals, steel and iron.

Adding to this, there are other factors which i have mentioned earlier.
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Old 28th June 2012, 20:12   #23
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I have never driven in Gujarat which is a bit funny given its proximity! But have heard good stories all around, so plan to make a trip sometime in the near future.

Am just a bit wary about giving one politician the full credit for the seemingly excellent roads in the state. Reminiscent of a certain Railway minister who charmed the world into believing he was single-handedly responsible for turning around the Indian Railways during his tenure. Despite the HBR and IIM-A case studies, there are sane voices who believe the Railways turnaround preceded Mr. Yadav's arrival on the scene, thanks to some good groundwork by its experienced administrators who stayed behind the scenes.

Not to take away from Mr. Modi or his leadership, but it would be silly to conclude that only HIS hand is required to replicate this model elsewhere. It is not rocket science to build a network of good, safe roads. Perhaps it is the Gujarati's natural ability at business that makes him realise that good connectivity is essential for progress, unlike most other states that seem to treat it like some sort of necessary evil! One hopes good sense will prevail elsewhere as well, and soon.
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Old 28th June 2012, 21:18   #24
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I was in Gujarat this week for a brief period and was impressed by the roads/highways in the state. My brother has traveled number of times from Ahmedabad-Vadodra and was mighty impressed with the expressway.

Now who is responsible for this good work is debatable (not for me but for many others). If I say the CM/Current Government is responsible then I will have to face brickbats for being anti-secular. I will not write much about this as everyone knows about the development and progress of this state.

Leaving that aside I feel it doesn't matter who is responsible for this good work other states should learn and follow the good things instead of just playing poor political games!

Last edited by bluevolt : 28th June 2012 at 21:21.
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Old 28th June 2012, 21:28   #25
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Gujarat roads have been very good for decades. I remember driving my Maruti 800 on a one week drive to Bhuj, Lakhpat, Nalia, Mandvi Beach and back to Ahmedabad in early 2000, where on the Bhuj-Ahmedabad road I was frequently driving at 130kmph, which was the maximum the car could go. This was the only road where I could drive at such high speeds till the Ahmedabad-Vadodara expressway was completed. The truck drivers are very polite and allow you to overtake if they possibly can. One interesting thing is that the same truck drivers never give way on the right once they enter the northern part of Rajasthan, beyond Jaipur.

The internal roads are also very good and I frequently take these roads as I find the village roads are more interesting. Last week I went to Mt Abu taking a long route via Gandhinagar, Visnagar, Kheralu, Dharoi Dam, Polo forest, Khedbrahma, Ambaj to Abu Road. The Ambaji road was two laned but excellent, and the Dharoi dam to Polo forest road was single track village road, but still in very good condition, except that I had to go partly off the road while passing an oncoming vehicle.

Rajasthan roads are also very good, especially Udaipur-Jaipur and Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Kota and Kota to Ranthambore.

Saji
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Old 28th June 2012, 22:27   #26
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I haven't driven on the GJ highways but I had occasion to visit Ahmedabad and its outskirts a few times. The road from the Ahmedabad station to our destination which was towards the airport was free from potholes. In fact in all my visits I failed to spot a single pothole (though I must say the surface was not exactly level in a couple of the places).

The drivers, however, are the same breed as everywhere. At least within the city I found ample proof the drivers are as insane as others. People driving without proper lane disciplines, not giving signals and jostling for space. Though they seldom lose their cool and things have never gone to fights or abuses. This is probably due to their laid-back style of living, unlike in Mumbai where we expect things to be done in a certain way and on a certain time.

I have yet to drive on the highways, though if you go through the travelogues, almost everyone seems to be praising them.

It's all the more shameful for me as a Maharashtrian that my state cannot produce a single engineer who knows what 'levelling a road' means. I have yet to come across a place in this state where the road is at the same level for 100 mtrs at a stretch (I doubt if even the e-way meets this criteria).
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Old 28th June 2012, 22:34   #27
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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I have never driven in Gujarat which is a bit funny given its proximity! But have heard good stories all around, so plan to make a trip sometime in the near future.
.
Ready to join. What about a TBHP meet at Daman? How far is that from Pune?

I agree with you that it cannot be just the one man effect although due credit must be given to him to ensure such a fantastic infrastructure. Infact generally speaking, you would always kind people criticizing there area/state's politicians for corruption and zero services. But in Gujarat most people have only good things to say about the govt. I feel its more to with there overall business oriented culture. Having an excellent road network is the first and foremost thing for any business to succeed.
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Old 28th June 2012, 23:27   #28
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Hi everybody
I drove for around 2400 kms going around north west Gujarat in the month of April.
Except about 30 km stretch between Jamnagar and Porbandar and another 30 km between Diu and Bhuj the roads are great.I stuck mainly to the the secondary roads all through.
There is one point I have noticed when driving from Bombay to Baroda.There is a lot of traffick driving the wrong way,trucks cars 2/3 wheelers etc.A lot of them so much so that you cannot drive in the left lane.
Daman would be a great venue for a team-bhp meet but to be avoided over a week end specially if it is an extended one.Becomes too crowded with people coming to drink.The hotels charges change dramatically.(personally havnt been to Daman recently but was in Diu on a Sunday evening)
Regards
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Old 29th June 2012, 00:36   #29
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Interesting thread.
Few points
- Gujarat has always had lovely roads much before Modi became a CM. let's not attribute everything good to a guy who doesn't always have a role to play in it.
- The development of a lot of the highways has been driven more by commercial necessity than any extra political will. With Gujarat's logistical importance to business both in terms of ports like Kandla, Mundra which handle a lot of cargo for North India also apart from Gujarat and its location on the critical Delhi-Mumbai route.
- Cities like Ahmedabad have arguably better infra because they have lagged the first-movers of India's development story like Delhi,Mumbai, Bangalore by a few years. And hence have had the option to not make the same mistakes as the bigger cities. Having said that, Ahmedabad is quite a mess as of today inspite of this lag.
- Traffic sense is quite non-existent here too as in other parts of India. Only that there's a method being the madness. Any Jeep/ people carrier driving at full speed on the inside lane of the wrong side will always have its headlights on. Perhaps it's meant to absolve them of the crime of driving full speed in the wrong lane.
- Gujarat isn't very Aggressive while driving because we are a practical business-minded race. We aren't out to prove we are the king of the road. We don't wear our pride on our sleeves all the time and hence it shows in a more comfortable driving experience unlike the North and other places.

Having said that, while the roads are great the scenery is not. One of the most boring landscapes to drive around especially the Ahmedabad to Mumbai, Ahmedabad to Abu, Ahmedabad to Rajkot except for the drive to Udaipur. You'll rarely have a very scenic countryside road to drive around as you would in the inner parts of Rajasthan.

Cheers,
Adi

P.S. I have stayed in Gujarat all my life but I am from Rajasthan.

OT: Talking about practicality, do you know Gujarat is the only place which worships an incarnation of Lord Krishna who walked away from Battle? Rannchod as in Rann Chod as in One who leaves the battlefield. Quite the antithesis of any martial race. Read that somewhere!
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Old 29th June 2012, 06:40   #30
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Default Re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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Ready to join. What about a TBHP meet at Daman? How far is that from Pune?

But in Gujarat most people have only good things to say about the govt. I feel its more to with there overall business oriented culture. Having an excellent road network is the first and foremost thing for any business to succeed.
Having been in Guj for 21 years , all I can say is I have been bowled over by the "bindaazism" of people here , especially those in South Guj.

Roads have always been good, repairs are undertaken immediately after rains(at least that is what I have seen in Diamond City) , upkeep of the city is top class despite the dust that this city sees.

People here are fun loving,and love to drive - I believe it is an extension of what one sees in the US. Probably roads are good so people love to drive OR the other way around.

South Guj offers some breathtaking greenery as well.
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