Managed to make a quick trip up and down earlier this month and thought i would share an update with everyone on the road condition between Delhi and Shimla , given that its one of the more popular posts.
The driving has clearly become much easier!
Exit from Delhi is now very smooth thanks to the completion of the flyovers / new tarmac which NHAI was laying down. We managed to get from Central Delhi to Murthal in about 45 minutes , nothing very aggressive with the respect to speeds – the time saving came through the fact that a healty 80kmph could be maintained for most of the time given the quality of the roads – and this at 615 AM in the morning when traffic was starting to build up , leaving earlier say 5-530 AM might shave off another 10 minutes or so.
The entire stretch to Panipat remains as nice and speedy as it has been for the last few years. Disappointed to note that the Panipat flyover (bypass) is clearly not being maintained as well as it should be , while there are no potholes on the road , the surface is not as smooth as it used to be and given that the toll is still operational it should be in a better state.
Panipat onwards is where the speeds start to slow down and traffic starts to build up , there is significant construction taking place and there continue to be many diversions , slip lanes and overall bad roads. This lasts till past Karnal and what earlier used to be a fast stretch has become quite slow. Add to this the fact that buses etc stop on the slip lanes to pick up/drop off people , it can be quite frustrating.
Delhi to Shimla
Just a small update for everyone with regard to the road condition between Delhi and Shimla as it stands as of a few weeks ago
First the good news. The stretch from Delhi to Panipat now is simply awesome ( excluding ofcourse our traffic behavior) , the entire stretch from Azadpur to the delhi border has been done up with a series of flyovers placed as well cutting the time drastically. Wide open roads with very few lights ensure that you can zip through this stretch now , a welcome relief from all the years it has taken for this to be completed.
The bad news. Panipat to Ambala is current a massive work in progress project. NHAI is expanding the road to make it into an 8 lane stretch. Good intentions but it makes for poor driving at this point . The current length of the road has been reduced and there are very few straights now available to build and maintain a decent pace. In many places the stretch is only about 500 km’s before there is a small diversion in aid of a flyover pillar being placed. A bit frustrating if you are trying to push but once ready ( not sure when) i am sure this will be an excellent stretch
The flyover work at Zirakpur is over ( FYI for those not aware – post Ambala the expressway has been fully functional for quite sometime now). Traffic is bad but more owing to bad driving than anything else.
The best part and something i have been looking forward to for years is the new stretch between Zirakpur all the way to Parwanoo. A brand new road , with 5-6 flyovers built in makes it a delight now. I managed the run ( which is approx 30 -35 odd kms) in less than 20 minutes , a far cry from the days when it used to take as much as 45-60 mins depending on traffic.
Once at Parwanoo of course the problems which have plagued this area and further on Kalka continue to exist , but there is a bypass being built now which will come out a little before Timber Trail once completed ( not sure when) which promises to , if not reduce time, at least make the drive less stressful.