Sehaj Chopra,St. Stephens School Chandigarh, 26th March: It indeed needs Spartan endurance to face the dilapidated condition of my hometown, Ambala. The location of Ambala Cantt on the NH1 identifies it as an imperative junction. Both rail & road connect it to an assortment of states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh & Jammu n Kashmir.
Thousands of Tourists make their way to those places everyday, stopping over or crossing through Ambala. Instead of giving a good impression, Ambala’s Stations flaunt a picture of chaos, dirt, pan stains, undisciplined crowds, depressing environments & tiresome beggars.
As you leave the railway stations, you are further met with a bottleneck of traffic under the flyover which was actually constructed with the original endeavor of making life easier for the commuters.
Instead it is now a shelter for autos, taxis, vegetable, fruit & daily need vendors. Cycle rickshaws & sleeping poverty stricken citizens further add to the pathetic scenario.
Why can’t those people be relocated to other places so that movement under & around the flyover is safer & pleasant?
The state of the roads outside both the Railway & Bus Stations is unimaginable. The size of the potholes is enough to swallow a car & break any vehicle’s shock absorbers.
Bus & cab drivers stop anywhere they feel like mindless of the risk to pedestrians and unending lines of commuters who are constantly in incredible hurry to reach their destinations.
Inside the bus stand some strange stench of long unending scary grass growing in the mire seem to have taken that horrific shape which might engulf everybody around there at any day, anytime, any minute and any second.
To add to all the chaos, the vegetable market (sabzi mandi) has been created just outside the Bus Stand, making the area crowded, filthy, stinky & unsafe. Why a more suitable location can’t be assigned to those ‘kacha shops’ to sell their goods.
Police on duty are simply turning a deaf ear to the problems faced by daily commuters & are doing nothing to discipline the traffic around this area.
They simply seem to be whiling away their time having tea & food at the hundreds of ‘dhabas’ mushrooming on the roads of our so called ‘National Highway’.
Govt. officials & Bureaucrats who drive past Ambala in their tinted air-conditioned SUV’s also seem to turn a blind eye to all those obvious problems since they don’t have to endure them on a daily basis.
It is high time that someone responsible for the development of towns should take notice & do something to improve the plight of Ambala Cantt
After all when ‘India is Shining’ or is foreseen as the next super power, are we stupid or not to realize that places like Ambala Cantt & around are the Real India that tourists go home & tell stories about. Isn’t this a ‘Crying Shame’??