Thursday, December 31, 2009

Distractions and Travels on NH4 and NH206

If you travel from Bangalore to Jog Falls, you would need to get on to NH 206 (National Highway 206 (India) - Wikipedia).
National Highway 206 (NH 206) is a National Highway in India entirely within the state of Karnataka. NH 206 connects the towns of Tumkur and Honnavara and is 363 km lo ng.
The distance between Bangalore and Jog Falls is some 400 kms, depending on where you start counting from. From Bangalore to NH206 is some 60kms. Which means most of your driving is on NH206. The highway, however, is two-laned throughout, except for a short stretch that is four-laned. The highway also is not in great shape, with several stretches that are less than stellar, and in urgent need of repair and resurfacing. Some stretches however are good enough to allow for 100kph driving, provided you keep your eyes peeled for distractions.Distractions? Yes, distractions.

पलट तेरा ध्यान किधर है?

The traffic signposts are also indicative. Like this one warning drivers of the presence of children nearby. What is noteworthy is the pace at which the schoolboy seems to be running. Which could mean that either children are by nature gregarious and therefore given to running across roads and that drivers should therefore watch out for running children, or that to safely cross roads a fair bit of athleticism is called for on the part of the children. Like I said earlier, the condition of the road is not too good.

Here is the Google Map:

NH206 between Tumkur and Sagar. View Larger Map

From Bangalore you get on to NH4. You could take the NICE Road to Neelamangala. You are then on NH4. There is work proceeding to convert this stretch into a traffic-signal free road. So there is a lot of construction all about. To widen the road, and construction of many flyovers. Once this work is completed, and it looks like it may be completed in 2010, driving through this section will become a lot quicker. And should cut down the drive time by half. Currently it can take upwards of half an hour to get to the toll section on NH4 - see the picture below.
The interesting thing is that even though the NHAI (Wikipedia page) site lists the Tumkur-Neelmangala section as completed (link), it is most certainly not complete. Though there is a short section (the photo below) that is a tolled road, operated by "Jas Toll Roads". And, to complicate things further, if you see the map on the NHAI site, there is a short section between Tumkur and Neelmangala that is indeed listed as "Under Implementation".

Driving on Indian roads can be hazardous to one's health. Need I say more? Even without the distractions.

And the danger is not always in the form of oncoming traffic. It can present itself in the form of people with a non-functioning cranium. And in case you are wondering, there are two people who are traveling in this bizarre manner on the Tata Sumo.

I can only imagine that this dude is trying to carry on a conversation with the passengers inside. Surely he is not attempting some exercises.

This below, sir, is a harvester. You certainly do not want to get into an argument with this behemoth. Did you notice the size of the rotary jaws at the front of this monster?

These two photos below are from a manned railway crossing. Coconut vendors make a killing on this crossing - because the crossing remains closed for 10-15 minutes when a train is scheduled to pass. The weather is hot. And a coconut is a good, a very good choice.

Thus far, this is the only section on all of NH206 that is four-laned. And before you get all excited, it is all of some 3-4 kms long.

After Shimoga, the scenery takes a turn for the green, as you enter the outer fringes of the Western Ghats.

National Highway (India) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

© 2009, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.