Sunday, June 17, 2007

TIBET ROAD STILL STRUCK IN A TIME WRAP?

Come the rains and the roads in and around Gangtok are the first to bear the brunt of nature’s fury. Enough has also been said about the state of our arterial roads here in Gangtok. Newspapers have devoted many pages highlighting the plight of Gangtok roads but in vain.

If one takes a quick look around, most of our roads are in deplorable conditions today. And these take a beating for the worse during the Monsoons. The roads turn into a big, dirty, open kuccha nallah.

One of the arterial roads that is in a desperate need of repairs is the legendary Tibet Road, or the Sonam Gyatso Marg. This road, which used to be part of the Silk Route in the olden days, today resembles a dirt track to say the least. Potholes and large ditches now cover most parts of the road. It seems that the road has not been repaired since many years. With its endless ditches and pot-holes I wonder if it’s a newly promoted mountain bike obstacle course! Or does it still want to retain its ‘Silk Route’ tag for mule caravans to tread along?

There are many hotels along the Tibet Road, and the bumpy ride is a really nice of welcoming our guests! The impression of another ‘Switzerland’ that we are trying to project may be a little hard to digest!

Better Infrastructure is the need of the hour and we just cannot ignore a vital like road in the heart of capital.

Moreover, I fail to understand why the concerned department chooses the peak tourist season and the advent of Monsoons the time to repair the drains? The already narrow road is now narrower with all the debris lying on the roadside. When will this loop sides vision for development stop?



Nicholas Lepcha,