Case Study- Siliguri to Janakpur

November 28, 2006 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

Siliguri to Janakpur

Graham & Jane

We cheer up at the prospect of returning to Nepal and make a relatively early start at 9.30, soon reaching the border at Kakarvitta where the visa and carnet process goes smoothly on both sides, once the Indians manage to find the right ledger to record all the details in triplicate. (funny they couldn’t find it when we came into India either, but is not really surprising as the ‘offices’ on both sides are primitive, with old cupboards stuffed with decaying books, gekkos and the odd pigeon). This time the Nepalese customs give us tea – the Indians did going the other way and we set off thru the eastern Terai. This strip of flat land between the Himalayan foothills and the Ganges plain is the most fertile and densely settled part of Nepal with towns and villages every few kms. The road is surprisingly good with very little traffic apart from bicycles, ox carts and countless school children. There are military check points very few kms which seem to be manned alternately by Maoists and regular army, usually in sandbagged and barbed wired enclosures but as today the peace accord has been signed no-one is stopping anyone and we have an uneventful journey until we reach the turn off to Janakpur at dusk.

Clearly this city 25km south of the main highway, close to Indian border and described by LP as a major tourist centre hasn’t been a keen supporter of the government over the past 10 years of rebellion as no-one has done anything to the road since then. It’s appalling even by the standards we’ve become accustomed to and definitely not part of the Asian Highway. For large sections the tarmac is no wider than a footpath and the potholes are filled with broken down trucks, assorted dislodged wheels and broken axles. In some areas we make better progress thru the nearby fields until we come to a bridge (or what once was a bridge) which as we start on it begins to resemble a Kobe expressway after the recent earthquake. A salutary reminder of why we don’t drive in the dark (its now pitch black at 5pm), we cautious backtrack and drive thru the river instead.

Eventually we get to Janakpur and plough through a maze of narrow streets and bazaars to a seedy hotel which LP says is the best place to stay where we pay an extortionate price for a disgusting room.


Entry filed under: Articles.

Crisis of research on Terai Dalits THOUGHTS FOR MADHESH STATE

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