We (Vivek and I) went to Panipat yesterday. The purpose was to visit the SLDC (State Load Dispatch Centre) of Haryana and study its SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system. Though we spent most of the day in bus or at the SLDC complex, but I had a few glimpses of the city too. And what I found out about the city was quite different than what I had expected. Despite being so close to Delhi, an industrial centre and one of the major cities of one of the most prosperous states of the country, Panipat is more or less same as other cities of the same size in Bihar and UP. I mean same when I talk in terms of condition of roads, traffic movement and planning.
The roads are not good in the inner parts of the city, at least those parts which I travelled to. There is acute problem of water-logging on the roads when it rains. In fact, water comes up to the knees sometimes. As put by one of the rickshawallas (rickshaw-puller) about Adarshnagar area (where I went):
“Is area me to koi bhi nahi aata hai baarish k time me, bhale hi 500 rupaye kyon na mile”
(No rickshaw-puller comes in this area during rains even if someone is ready to pay Rs 500)
Even the flyover on the national highway (G T Road) is also built in such a way that there is no way to evacuate water from the highway during rain. Though there was police patrolling at many corners of the city for ensuring that people adhere to the basic safety standards while driving vehicles, but as told, it was mainly because of a recent change in the SP (Superintendent of Police). So, it can’t be said how long this patrolling will continue.
The SLDC centre too was like a typical government office in the country. Most of the employees were enjoying the extended lunch time when we reached there. And when they resumed office, it was actually resuming of the bakar (gossip) session of criticizing the modern culture and how English and its wide-spread use in the country has ruined the Indian culture. I don’t know when they will understand the importance of English in our lives. And more importantly, when they will come to realize that culture is not a static thing. It keeps on evolving and is affected by all the developments going on around us. So, when the British ruled us for about two centuries, how can their presence in our country not affect our culture? And nobody wails about the effect of the Mughal Rule on our culture. Why such a discrimination with the English?
And finally, the journey back to Gurgaon was a pain, as expected. Firstly, we couldn’t find any direct bus from Panipat to Gurgaon. It was a surprise thinking of the fact that Panipat is an important industrial town and Gurgaon is the major corporate hub of the state. So, we took a bus to ISBT, Kashmere Gate, Delhi. We reached Delhi around half past nine. It’s not late if you are in a mega city but Delhi starts sleeping completely at around that time. Surprising, but it’s a fact!! And we could not find any way to travel to Gurgaon from the largest bus stand of Delhi!! After taking two rounds of the bus stand, desperately looking for a bus to Gugaon, we decided to take an auto-rickshaw to Dhaula Kuan. Needless to say, the autowalla took a hefty anount from us. And from Dhaula Kuan, we took a bus to Iffco Chowk (Gurgaon) after paying more than double the amount to the conductor, that too without receiving any ticket. So, the conductor too got his pie in our plight. Finally, to the love of the Lady Luck and her blessings, we got the auto to Gurgaon bus stand very easily without waiting for a second at the Iffco Chowk. At the end, we reached our room near midnight.
Some might say that our journey from Delhi to Gurgaon must be a thrilling experience. But for me, there was more of anxiety than thrill in it. And what makes me wonder is the fact that neither the government of Delhi nor that of Haryana has taken any step to make travel easy and tension-free between the two cities after late evening. Despite so much of pyar (love) between the cities, commuting from one to the other is a big pain. Sometimes during daytime too!!
Hope and Wish the transport facilities between the cities bear a testimony to this never-ending love soon!!