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Tale of Divided Villages

On my recent travel to Agra, I was impressed beyond words to be travelling on 165 km long six lane( convertible to 8 lane) super highway. I guess that’s the only road in India which is at par with international standard highways. It surely is a pride for nation like India to boast of super highway. But there was a lesson for small nation like Bhutan to learn from that super highway. The massive 13,300 crores Rupees pumped into the highway was an initiative of Uttar Pradesh Government contracted out to Jai Prakash. Jai Prakash now owns highway for 36 years. They charge toll fees  and also make money from other facilities along the highway including the refreshment services like tea and coffee which costs about Rs. 50 per cup. Inside Indira Gandhi International Airport, tea costs Rs.30.

What surprised me more is the fact that the whole stretch of road from the first point that highway begins right till it ends is the fencing on both sides of the road which divides one villages across the road to another on the other sides of the highway. The villagers have no access to the road.  If they have to go to their neighbour on the other sides, they will have to take detour on their dust tracks. Villagers can only see the cars and buses almost flying on the road but in no way use it because their roads are not connected to it. Two worlds are created by the road: Better world is owned by a capitalist and the lesser ones by those who have lost their voice and that also in their own village. The capitalist goes to the extent of monopolizing not only the road he has been contracted out but also the essential services and other facilities and that also for 36 years. If lifelines like road are to divide society, neighbours and businesses with its long fences, super highways or any other development will have no meaning whatsoever.

It may therefore be important for us to study not only the immediate monetary benefits that some mega projects may bring but also the dividing lines that may break society, neighbours and country folks.


Kezang Dolkar said…
Where are you Tshering? No call, no mail, nothing. Please call back, it is urgent!!!!! important for you.
Nisho Romzien said…
Achila has now become an activist. As an activist, you can help bring change in a society. It is only natural that writers like you contribute far and wide by writing about things that has huge impact on the lives of people. It is good to learn that your activism is taking positive turns.

Nisho Romzien
Sonam Tshomo said…
It is good to hear that you went to visit Taj. I think Taj is for devdas like you. Did you pray? lol

Sonam Tshomo
Milan Sophie said…
Great thoughts, great writing. Please keep posting such articles.

Greetings from Azerbaijan. How are you my old friend. I saw you in UZ Vibe TV yesterday presenting your famous Truck Parking Girl. I told my family that you are my friend and they send you their greetings too to my dear friend Tshering. How is your life? Did you find new partner after Truck Parking Girl? If not, would you be interested in my sister Sonia. She is beautiful?(heheheheheheh).
I still remember the story you told me about Vladmir Putin's interpretetion of Sharaya Law. It was really beautiful. And your truck parking girl story is no less. I loved the way you presented. There was no stress on your face. In fact there was so much smile. Thank you for being my friend.Please keep smiling. I think people from your country are all very happy like you.

Mohija Laskari Enula
Anonymous said…
Hallo my friend, it is long time now. How are you? Tel Aviva is going to organise literature carnival in September this year in Samay Island. If you are interested, I would be happy to recommend you. Please send your bios to my email. It would be lovely to see you again.

Zoya Amiloskic

P.S Do you still punctuate your sentences with Jadah?
I have become ghost story now. Where r u?
There is no God inside Taj Mahal. It only has the dead bodies of Mamtaz and Shah Jahan. So there is no question of praying.
Hi Mohija,

Thank you for remembering me. I think Sonia would be great company lol. Please take care of yourself.

Dear Zoya

Jedah comes naturally to me like breathing lol. How have you been? Thank you for invitation. I got invitation from Tel Aviva office yesterday. I am excited about it.
Anonymous said…
Wonderful write up, great leadership thoughts.
Dechen Choden said…
Your article reminds me of kamala Markandaya's " Nectar in the sieve". You should read this book. It is very small and insightful.

Otherwise, hows Palha and hows your book shaping up?

Ana Dechen
Sonam Choden said…
Kamala Markandaya's book is really nice. I am looking for that book. If you have one, can you please allow me to copy?

Sonam Choden

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