The Old Kalka-Ambala Road, that led from Zirakpur to Ambala used to be an abandoned road for a long time. It had agricultural land on both sides and lay green but forlorn. Now the place is humming with activity. All thanks to the various housing societies that have sprung up adjacent to this road. An overbridge that leads to Kalka from Zirakpur light point cuts free access to this road from the Chandigarh end. People commuting to Dhakoli or Peer Muchhala from Panchkula have to take this road. Their numbers grow day by day. Comfort Banquet is a well known landmark right at the Panchkula end of the road. It is a busy hub. You see, there are two daaru ka thekha (alcohol shops) here. There are some small joints selling food here, a few shops and a shanty market selling vegetables.
I have to commute along this road everyday as I live in Dhakoli and work in Panchkula. I drive a scooter and leave office by 6 PM in the evening. It is dark and bitterly cold by that time. The drinking population rejoices at the early darkness as it means they can ‘party’ early. The atmosphere is of happiness for a few and fears for some. If everything was good, one could pass by this little stretch of barely 5 or 10 meters in the matter of a second or two. But things are not good here.
The bit of road in front of Comfort Banquet always sags. It has been filled with pebbles and built over at times, but within a few weeks it is back to its pockmarked self. There are huge cavern sized pot holes on the road. Two wheeler drivers have to slow down and find a good patch to drive on that will not upset the scooter. On dry days it is still possible, as the cavern is visible and one can slowly pass it by. But on rainy days everything gets waterlogged and it is harder to spot a good bit of road to use. By the way, whatever light we have in this spot is thanks to the shops and the Banquet. Move up the road and you are left in total darkness.
I have no idea who I should contact for this. But I am putting these pictures here and in social media, hoping that someone wakes up to the difficulty the population of Dhakoli face on a daily basis.