The only bright part of this route (Shimla to Rohru) is the stretch between Fagu and Theog. Else, my car seemed in shambles and falling apart. Each and every screw, howsoever rusted it was, seemed like falling apart. Many did. Total damage would be finally assessed once I take my car to the mechanic. From Delhi to Rohru and two trips between Shimla and Rohru, made about 1,500 km and within these 1,500 km my car seems to be not a five-year-old car but from the prehistoric era.
That’s the price I’m or everybody else is paying for the development and for a better future. The road from Shimla to Rohru is being converted into four-lane, hence we’ll have to bear with it. And may be till then (estimated two years), we’ll have to junk our cars.
However, what I don’t understand is why the stretch between Chharabra and Kufri and Kufri and Fagu is not being metalled. The widening of this stretch was completed many years ago. Even though a staunch Congress supporter, I’d come open in praise of BJP for its obsession with roads. I thought that the previous Congress government neglected the road to Rohru. However, it’s been more than a year, since the BJP came to power in the state (Himachal Pradesh), but the road is as bad as it can get. Worsening day by day. And the stretch between Shimla and Theog and to Rampur is supposed to be a National Highway (No 22, for the uninitiated).
But how about the roads in Shimla city itself. Pathetic is the word – that comes to my mind. Take the route from Victory Tunnel to Lakkar Bazaar and Sanjauli, and you’ll feel that you are in a surgical theatre and being passed through surgery without anesthesia. Shimla is not only the state capital but one of the tourist destinations, that attracts tourists not only from India but from abroad. Is this the image we let the tourists carry back home.
I’d like to request the Himachal government to please do the needful at the eraliest. I’ve been approached by many BJP men to convert, and if they want me to really convert, they’d have to show some good work. Till then it’ll be a choice between the more evil and the less evil.
Also that I’d criticised the former Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, for making visits to his constituency (Rohru) though helicopter. He surely wouldn’t like to take a bumpy ride at this age. But all – from both BJP and Congress – took the ariel route and land up in Sawra (Saraswati Nagar), to woo the voters. The prominent culprits are Thakur kaul Singh and Mohsina Kidwai (both from the Congress) and Prof prem Kumar Dhumal (from the BJP).
Even though a Congress-supporter, I’m still happy that Rohit Thakur )of the Congress) was given a boot by the electorate. He rided on big ego and no work. His refrain would be “Jagdish (Dulta) Mama se poocho. Unko batao.” Well, people did not vote for his “Jagdish Mama” but him. I’m not sure, how much work and promises, the MLA from Jubbal-Kotkhai, Mr Narender Baragta would be able to fulfil at the end of his term, but one thing I’m sure is of that he is a genial person and approachable and at least has an ear to listen to the woes of the common man. He’s a permanent for sure for the next term(s). The Congress has let its fort succumb to the BJP. There’s none from the Congress that can give a fight to Baragta. The only solution for Congress would be to do the the improbable (though not impossible) to lure Baragta to Congress.
There’s been enough speculation that in the parliamentary elections, Baragta’s influence might get Virender Kashyap the seat to the Centre. He might swing some votes in Upper Shimla, however, Baragata has little influence in Lower Shimla. More so, parliamnetray elections are a different ball game altogether. Even though I rue the fact that all MPs from Shimla in the past have come as a dud, whether be it KD Sultanpuri or be it Col Dhani Ram Shandil. They’ve done no work for their constituency. I doubt if they raised any questions during their term. All I know of is personal works – like getting a gas connection or a telephone connection or getting a government accomodation out of turn from the MP-quota (during the days when it was difficult to get connections and there was a quota). Overall, their mass work has been nill. And still I’m a Congress supporter. Why? I’ve to ask myself. But I have seen Virender Kashyap too doing little in his public life. His name crops up only during elections and is famous for losing all. He hasn’t learnt any lessons all this while and has done little to up his public image during the term between elections. He could have voiced concerns, participated in public debates and done some social work to remain alive in the public memory.
All I can say at this point of time is may the best person wish. My opinion doesn’t count as I am a registered voter in Delhi and cannot cast my vote in Himachal. But don’t take that lightly. I can for sure swing votes. So I’d leave it to the parties to lure me.