Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great improvements in NH33

Much work has been done on the NH33 (Barhi - Hazaribagh - Ramgarh - Ranchi - Jamshedpur - Ghatshila - Bahragora - Chichira) over the last couple of years and the road is presently in a fairly good condition except for a few very short stretches between Bahragora and Chichira (Jharkhand / W.B. border).

The way most highways are maintained in India, the newly laid surfaces usually last just a couple of years. In Jharkhand, the posts of the minister and babus in-charge of road construction are highly coveted because much money can be made in this dept. So though I am happy about the present condition of NH33, I'm not sure how long this happiness will last!

But I am making hay while the sun shines. I have stopped using trains for visiting Kolkata and always use my Swift. In the last one month alone I drove to Kolkata twice for attending some weddings. It takes about 5 hours to reach Kolkata from Jamshedpur and driving is quite enjoyable.

Highway dust on my car

I usually start early in the morning, around 5AM. Till Bahragora (100 km) I can comfortably do 80-90 kmph. The bad stretches between Bahragora and the West Bengal border (Chichira) slows one down but after crossing into W.B. the road (NH6) is once again good and 80-90 kmph can be maintained till Kharagpur.

The real driving fun starts at Kharagpur where the excellent 6-lane dual carriageway (part of the Golden Quadrilateral) to Kolkata starts. On this stretch my Swift effortlessly reaches upto 130 kmph. The only reason why I don't usually exceed 120-130 kmph is because most Indian drivers (bloody junglees) have not yet learnt how to use multi-lane carriageways and one often finds the slowest moving trucks and other vehicles coolly hogging the fast lane. Though most truckwallahs let you pass (however grudgingly or slowly), most buses and cars apparently feel offended when you want to overtake them and so one has no choice but to slow down and overtake from the left when the opportunity arises.

On the whole, with the present condition of NH33 and NH6, I quite enjoyed my recent drives from Jamshedpur to Kolkata and back. Apart from the thrill of some high speed driving, having the car at our disposal at Kolkata is a big convenience. The Swift VDi continues to perform admirably without any problem. I get a mileage of around 22 kmpl during these drives. I use only non-premium diesel.

The Swift has clocked 19,000 km. Most of it was obviously on the highways because my driving around in Jamshedpur is minimal due to my retired life.


Rishabh Sharma said...

Sir,I was researching on Swift VDI and came across your blog. It is extremely well written & I have read all your posts(right from your decison to go for VDI till NH33's description) & your zeal & enthusiasm towards your Swift VDI is contagious.

I myself am planning to go for Ritz VDI. Just wanted your opinion on ABS & Tyre size. Swift & Ritz's tyres are too small for their respective sizes.

I will be really thankful if you could please provide your valuable inputs. My email id is

Rejath said...

Hi Sir,

I loved your blog. I booked my Swift Vdi and after reading your blog have already fallen in love with my Black Swift Vdi even before i laid my hands on it. :-)

Thanks and Regards,
Rejath Ajayan