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Old 25th January 2010, 17:57   #76
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HVK sir, great timings, yet again, considering the road and traffic condition on that route. Nothing unusual though, for a seasoned campaigner like you!

Once the remaining stretches of NH 3 and NH 25 (N-S corridor) are completely 4-laned, driving to Mumbai (and further south) from central UP (Lko, Kanpur) will become a fun.

Looking forward to rest of the log, specially, NH 7 Katni- Hyderabad- Bangalore - TVM
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Old 25th January 2010, 23:34   #77
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Moderators. How about introducing a special category of 10 stars for anything to do with HVK?
Tirthankar, Amazing narration. The pics are terrific. Your cartoons are great. I was waiting for a great travelogue for a long time, (since reading the european odyssey of Ramkya), and this ended the wait!
With a heavy heart I'm giving it 5* as that's the max option... deserves more.
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Old 26th January 2010, 00:15   #78
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My version of the next part of the drive....

Gwalior-Kajuraho, 322 kms

We had reached Gwalior after a long 1,100 km overnight drive from Bombay, and I had to attend the wedding of my cousin.

I met my grand-uncle too at the function and shared with him my misgivings about the hard gear engagement in the first and second gears, which had suddenly started, giving me the jitters. He told his driver to take care of it while I continued to gawk at the bride and bridegroom. The driver - one of the smartest have seen - discovered that there was some problem with the slave cylinder and the gear shift lever, lubricated and tightened the latter and hey presto, the gear shifts became as smooth as they were before.

We left Gwalior on Jan 15 at 300 pm, intending to reach Kajuraho by night fall. The route to be taken is as follows:
Gwalior-Datia-Jhansi-Nowgaon-Chhatarpur-Kajuraho.

But as events turned out, we could not reach Kajuraho that night.

After crossing Datia, at the Check Post of Chirula, we were stopped by the cops who demanded our SUV for local election campaigning. They refused to let us through and the car was asked to park inside the police thana compound, at the instructions of the Control Room at Datia. This was 450 pm, and the bitter cold was settling down on the verdant countryside, as the cops themselves cuddled around the smoking wood trunk for warmth.

One of the friendly constables told me:
- There is a shortage of SUVs in this region, and lots are required for campaigning
- You have no ladies in your car, else we would not have stopped you
- Ask some minister to call up the cops so that we can release you
- Your car will be seized and retained for at least 8 days till the election campaigning ends

To this, I told them:
- I cannot do jan seva of this magnitude
- I am a busy guy on some important business and I am answerable for my work to several honourables
- You cannot seize my car just like that

Anyway, we had to cool our heels at the CP awaiting instructions from District Control Room. Soon, in 45 minutes, a police jeep drove in and we were instructed to follow the jeep, with 2 constables in our car escorting us (detention-style).

We were driven thus back the way we came - to Datia, which was 15 kms away, and asked to park inside a police compound, where another cop awaited me within, who was busy challaning (issuing receipts for vehicles seized) - I was in a Q after another guy whose Alto was seized. Very efficient, the cop looks up and says:
"Number of the car?"
I say, "eh?"
"Registration number, make of car, make it quick!"
It registered in my feeble mind that this guy was like Chitragupta recording morbid details of cars seized and lost for ever.

This is when I created a minor ruckus - said, do you know who I am, and so on, and how much the world will lose by my relaxed stay for the next 8 days in the small town of Datia. The cop was bewildered by this outburst, and send me again outside where I had to stand around another bonfire and convince another cop as to the dire necessity to be a free bird. Half an hour of this incessant chatter, and the cop gets real worrried and talks to his senior - so we are asked to get back into the car and in the company of 3 cops driven back to the Chirula CP.

At the CP, I was invited to discuss terms for the release, and we agreed on Rs 2,000 as the "phayada" fees, and I was allowed to go after 2 hours.

In the meantime, while we were sitting at the CP, we had shot off a few SOS messages in Face Book, which were also picked up by one of my friends in the Mahindra Scorpio Yahoo group. What an impact this had - messages of help, support and advice poured in during the next half-hour, and one of my well-connected friends (also a member of this Forum) also used his considerable clout to good effect and talked to the DGP of the State. Even my wife read about the problems I faced in MP through FB!

By the time we left the CP, the thick fog had descended and it became more and more difficult to drive. We crossed Jhansi at 750 pm, and took the road less travelled to Chhatarpur. What a pleasant surprise the road was - it has been recently widened to a 2-lane road (earlier, it was just a single track, which meant whenever a car comes onto you, both have to get off the tarmac onto the shoulders to let each other pass by.

It was only a small stretch - between Mornipur and Nowgaon - which had narrow roads in not-so-good condition. By the time we entered Chhatarpur own - the biggest en route, just 60 kms short of Kajuraho, it was already 1030 pm, so we decided to stop over at the nice Hotel Chhatarpur Regal for the night.
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Old 26th January 2010, 07:22   #79
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, I can't believe this. Is this phenomenon unique to MP alone? How did this go un-noticed, I mean, in the over-reacting Indian media?
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Old 26th January 2010, 07:42   #80
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Crazy stuff. If you guys are being blocked at 5pm and vehicles confiscated - then there is no hope in this world!!

Now for me to implement my once-thought-to-be-wild-backup plan for safeguarding my car!!
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Old 26th January 2010, 07:55   #81
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Post reminds me of Sachin Halder of WB

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Now for me to implement my once-thought-to-be-wild-backup plan for safeguarding my car!!
Hey, whats that wild plan? We are all ears!

BTW this reminds me of Sachin Halder of WB, who had the courage to challenge it last year. But look at the public apathy. There was even a contempt of court.
The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Sachin inspires car owners to speak up

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Contempt notice on ‘car-snatch’ officer
Attached Images
  
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Old 26th January 2010, 07:55   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
, I can't believe this. Is this phenomenon unique to MP alone? How did this go un-noticed, I mean, in the over-reacting Indian media?
It is a common thing in Bihar and some parts of UP. Last April, during the general elections, my car was seized by the Bihar cops in the middle of the night and only thanks to some glib talk, I managed to escape that one (that too at 1230 in the night) is what is undoubtedly the toughest region of badland Bihar - Purnea District.

Nothingh unusual for the media to comment on - SUVs and other vehicles being seized is quite a normal thing
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Old 26th January 2010, 08:03   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btirthankar View Post
Hey, whats that wild plan? We are all ears!

BTW this reminds me of Sachin Halder of WB, who had the courage to challenge it last year. But look at the public apathy. There was even a contempt of court.
The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Sachin inspires car owners to speak up

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Contempt notice on ‘car-snatch’ officer
I never knew that actually its allowed as legal provisions.

HVK/TB: Bottomline always travel with a woman in the vehicle to not get stopped
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Old 26th January 2010, 08:13   #84
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You cannot talk law to cops, if you act too smart, they are capable of levying some frivolous charge against you, get "witnesses" and lock you away. So the only way to tackle the cop "menace" is to act tactfully, talk diplomatically and communicate that you are "someone" with appropriate connections. And a loosening of the purse strings also helps. I do not want to be an activist in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and I want to simply get away from such problems and get on with my trip. I am sure many may want to disagree with me, but all I can say is that I have managed to get away in such circumstances with very less damage
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:04   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You cannot talk law to cops, if you act too smart, they are capable of levying some frivolous charge against you, get "witnesses" and lock you away. So the only way to tackle the cop "menace" is to act tactfully, talk diplomatically and communicate that you are "someone" with appropriate connections. And a loosening of the purse strings also helps. I do not want to be an activist in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and I want to simply get away from such problems and get on with my trip. I am sure many may want to disagree with me, but all I can say is that I have managed to get away in such circumstances with very less damage
with you HVK Sir, that is a pragmatic approach to take.

Your words reminds me of the quote - talking to them is like wrestling with a pig in the mud. After a while you realize that while you are getting dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:16   #86
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Tirthankar & HVK,

Awesome guys! You ROCK!!

I have seen Tirthankar's penchant for creativity with camera and heard it too. Good job Basu.

HVK, it was unfortunate for us to have missed you meeting in Hyd. We were fully geared up and ready and worked around quite a few things to meet you. Nevertheless, look forward to future in meeting you.

Great passion!!
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Old 26th January 2010, 16:11   #87
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Gwalior-Jhansi-Chhatarpur, 265 kms (including the 17 kms up and down to Datia with the cops)

Chhatarpur-Bamita-Kajuraho, 57 kms


As I mentioned before, the road from Jhansi to Kajuraho was a pleasant surprise. The heavy fog after Datia towards Jhansi. The road from Gwalior to Jhansi being part of the North-South corridor is seeing lots of construction activity for 4-laning, but road conditions are good. We encountered heavy fog.

At Jhansi, the route is very simple, follow the signages through the city - just a simple right and left turn - and you take the Kanpur road till the end of town, where you have to take the right turn to go towards Kajuraho. From Jhansi onwards, till Nowgaon (120 kms from Jhansi), the road is now wide enough to accommodate 2 vehicles at a time and condition excellent. You can maintain 100 kmph + speeds most of the time.

AFter Nowgaon, for some distance, road is still 1-lane and has some rutted portions. Facilities are poor, both in the form of eateries and petrol pumps. Heavy fog made it extremely difficult to go further than Chhatarpur, which had an excellent Hotel Chhatarpur Regal. We reached Chhatarpur at 1030 pm.

The next day morning (Jan 18), we left late from Chhatarpur - 715 am - and were in Kajuraho in 1 hour, You have to turn off the Chhatarpur-Satna highway at Bamita.

From 815 am to 1200 noon, we explored Kajuraho - all of the Western, Eastern and Southern temple complexes, and also some excellent puri bhaji and tea for brunch - and left for our next destination Hyderabad.

On the way, we crossed the Panna WLS, which has a couple of good-looking jungle resorts. But what was unexpected was the outstanding roads. We turned off the Satna/Rewa higfhway and took a little-known road marked for Jabalpur. Looks newly laid, in excellent condition, but absolutely no facilities en route for almost the next 100m kms. Goes through thick jungles and small villages. The towns of Amanganj and Shahnagar rolled by and we joined NH7 just before Katni.

NH7, India's longest highway, running all the way from Varanasi to Kanyakumari, was to be our highway for the drive all the way to Trivandrum. In good condition, moderately traffic, decent facilities. Jabalpur town is bypassed and at Laknadon, we intersect the North-South corridor coming from Jhansi via Sagar. IT is good 4-laner from Laknadon to the Seoni bypass. The Seoni bypass is a sad case with several rough sections. After Seoni, the 4-lane is mostly incomplete thanks to some restrictions on cutting a wider road through the rich wildlife sanctuary of Pench. We reached the MPTDC's Bison Resort at Rookad 20 kms beyond Seoni at 720 pm, and retire for the night.
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Old 26th January 2010, 16:36   #88
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This is an amazing thread in TBHP. Very good content with excellent pictures. I wish al the best!

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 27th January 2010, 08:27   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btirthankar View Post
BTW this reminds me of Sachin Halder of WB, who had the courage to challenge it last year. But look at the public apathy. There was even a contempt of court.
The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Sachin inspires car owners to speak up

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Contempt notice on ‘car-snatch’ officer
Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
I never knew that actually its allowed as legal provisions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You cannot talk law to cops, if you act too smart, they are capable of levying some frivolous charge against you, get "witnesses" and lock you away. So the only way to tackle the cop "menace" is to act tactfully, talk diplomatically and communicate that you are "someone" with appropriate connections. And a loosening of the purse strings also helps. I do not want to be an activist in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and I want to simply get away from such problems and get on with my trip. I am sure many may want to disagree with me, but all I can say is that I have managed to get away in such circumstances with very less damage
Shouldn't some Association of Roadies "Organizations" take up such issues with the Authorities? Or get the Law amended??

Could such activist-activites be in the ambit or mission-statements of Team-BHP or similar road-touring forums?
.
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Old 28th January 2010, 09:48   #90
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Default Midnight Meet.

Had a quick meet with HVK and Tirthankar last night around 1:00AM at the NICE road-Mysore Road intersection.
Tirthankar looked a bit weary but HVK, in full josh, his sprightly, bright self.

They took off for Mumbai and must be near Pune now if my estimates are correct.

The Absobrute's odo read 225000kms as far as I remember.
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