CHAPTER VII

(a)

Old Time Trade Routes and Highways and Modes of Conveyance

(b)

Road Transport

©

Railways

(d)

Waterways, Ferries and Bridges

(e)

Air Transport

(f)

Travel and Tourist Facilities

(g)

Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones

(h)

Organisations of Owners and Employees in the Field of Transports and Communications

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

(a) Old-Time Routes and Highways and Modes of Conveyance

 

            The economic development of a region depends inter alia, on the infra-structure of means of communication and transport.  Roads are essential for the development of industries and agriculture, and help to solve other economic problems. Road development also promotes a change in the type of agricultural production by diversion of cultivation from food crops to commercial crops. India history is full of reference to the construction of roads in the past and to the road policy adopted by different rules from time to time. Chandragupt Maurya, Ashoka, Muhammad Tughlaq and Sher Shah Sur are particularly known for the construction and maintenance of roads. The enthusiasm for road construction and road continued under the Mughals during the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Most of the Mughal roads were macadamized and surfaced.

 

            The roads thus developed provided the foundations of the present road system. It was only after the World war I (1914-1918) that mechanized road transport started assuming importance in the country’s economy. Since then it has made rapid strides both in the terms of road kilometrae and the number of vehicles plying on the roads.

 

            Prior to the advent of automobile vehicle and railways, bullockcarts, beasts of burden like bullocks, camels and donkeys, and wherever possible, indigenous boats were utilized for the movement of agricultural produce and finished goods. With the development of network of railways, roads, waterways and airways, these means of transport are being gradually replaced by the modern means of transport.

 

(b) Road Transport

 

            With the advent of the British rule in this region in the middle of the nineteenth century, the pace of road development was accelerated. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the principal roads in the district were : Batala to Dera Baba Nanak, Batala to Srigobindpur, Batala to Aliwal, Batala to Qadian, Zafarwal to Gurdaspur, Gurdaspur o Naushera Majja Singh, Ganji to Dorangla and Pathankot to Madhopur.

 

            The road transport system in the district, except Narot Jaimalsingh side in the Pathankot Tahsil, is quite satisfactory. As the following figures show there has been a considerable expansion in roads since the attainment of independence in 1947:

 

Year

 

Metalled Roads (km)

Unmetalled Roads (km)

Total Road Length (km)

1950-51

..

   256

685

941

1960-61

..

   466

537

1,003

1972-73

..

1,389

..

1,389

            In 1972-73, the metalled road length in the district was 1,389 km. This road length per 100 sq. km. of the area of the district works out to 39.05 and per lakh of population to 108.02.

 

(i) Classification of Roads

 

            The roads in the district may be broadly classified in to national highways; provincial highways including State highways, district major roads, other district roads (excluding local bodies roads), and village approach roads; and local bodies roads. Out of their total length of 1,389 km in the district, as in 1972-73, the length of national highways was 98 km, provincial highways 1,233,km and local bodies roads 58 km. The national highways and provincial highways (excluding local bodies roads), with a total length of 1,331 km. are maintained by the Public Works Department (B & R), the local bodies roads, with a total length of 58 km, are maintained by the local bodies.

 

            A detailed description of each category of roads in the Gurdaspur District is given below:

 

            National Highways.-  These constitute the framework which eventually become a network of modern roads for communication.  These highways traverse the length and breadth of the country, connect ports, foreign highways, capitals of large States, large towns and industrial areas.  The national highways are constructed and maintained by the State Public Works Department out of the Central Government funds.  A strip of Jullundur-Tanda- Dasuya- Mukerian- Pathankot up to border with the Jammu and Kashmir State of the national highway lies in the district.

 

            State Highways.- these are the main arteries of commerce and industry within a State and are connected with the national highways or with the highways of adjacent States.  The important cities within the State are linked by them.  The State Government is responsible for their construction and maintenance.  The State highways passing through the districts are: Amritsar-Pathankot (State boundary), Amritsar-Ajnala-Dera Baba Nanak, Amritsar-Ramdas-River Ravi Road, and Amritsar-Srigobindpur Road.

 

            District Major Roads.- These roads serve areas of production and markets, connecting them with one another or with the highways or the railways.  These are maintained by the Public Works Department (B & R).

 

            Other District Roads.- These roads serve as important arteries of communication among the different parts of the district.  These are also maintained by the State Public Works Department.

 

            Village Approach Roads.-  Last in the category are village approach roads connecting villages and groups of villages with one another and with the nearest district roads, highways, railways or river ghats.  Some of these roads have been constructed through the co-operative efforts of the villagers also.  The construction of these link roads has been going on in rural areas quite vigorously since the launching of this project in the State on January 21, 1968.

 

            Municipal Roads.-  These roads connect the local markets, streets, State Highways, National highways, railway stations and other roads in the municipal area of a particular town.  These are constructed and maint by the concerned municipal committees out of their own funds.

 

            (ii) Vehicles and Conveyances

           

            In spite of the development of various means of transport, the old type of vehicles and conveyance such as bullock-carts, tongas, wooden rehris and animals are still quite popular in the district.  The bullocks, which are used for agricultural work, are also yoked to the carts and bullock-cart remains the most important means of transport even up to this day.  The four-footed pack animals like donkeys, mules, camels, etc. are also used for transportation of foodgrains and vegetables from the nearby villages to the markets in the towns.  The animal transport provides services where no other means are available or are economical.  The wooden rehris, driven by men, are used to carry raw materials, cloth, cotton, bricks, wood and other goods from on e locality to another within a town.  Tongas are also used in transporting passengers between villages and towns.  The cycle has become an essential means of conveyance in these days.  Motor vehicles such as tampos, motor-cycles, motor taxis, scooters, trucks, cars, etc. provide means of quick transport and have become very popular.  The number of different types of motor vehicles registered in the district, during 1967 to 1971-72, is given in Appendix I.

 

            Automobiles.-  Motor taxis, motor rickshaws, motor-cycles, scooters, jeeps, trucks and cars are becoming popular in the cities.  Motor taxis are hired in big towns where the distance to be covered in individuals journey is sufficient long, and passengers have better paying capacity.  These prove very convenient and efficient and their rates and fares are generally fixed by the local authorities.  The passengers are charged according to the number of kilometres traveled, which are accurately indicated over a meter.  Motor rickshaws are a good combination of rickshaws and motor-cycles.  Their charge are usually more than those of the ordinary cycle rickshaws, but much lower than those of motor taxies.

 

            Cycles.-  Cycle has become very popular as a means of conveyance of individual passengers for short distances.  It is an essential means of conveyance in big cities, especially for middle-class persons.  The dairy-men and villagers have found in cycle an easy means of transport which can help them disposing of their surplus milk in the neighbouring  towns.  The cycle has also, in a way, increased the mobility of Indian labour.  A large number of students and teachers have found in cycle a companion.  The various advantages of the cycle are flexibility, cheapness, good speed and the absence of any standing charge, if kept properly.

 

Cycle-Rickshaws. – The number of cycle-rickshaws has increased much during last few years.  Its charges are rather low and it has not to wait for passengers for long as only two persons make the full load of a rickshaw.  It is more convenient than ekkas or tongas as it can reach the narrow streets also.  The initial tongas as it can reach the narrow streets also.  The initial outlay and the cost of maintenance of rickshaws are also lower than those of horse-carriers.  Some pullers purchase their own rickshaws, while others ply these on hire.         

 

            The Punjab Government have framed bye-laws for rickshaw-pullers. Boys below 18 years and men above 45 years are not allowed to pull rickshaw.

 

            Horse Carriages. – With the introduction of cycle-rickshaws, horse driven vehicles like tongas have become less important as a means of transportation in town and cities.  The rates of horse-driven vehicles are, however, fairly low and are within the means of everybody.

 

            Boats. – The river transport of passengers and goods through boats, which was quite popular in the past, has been discontinued with the development of modern means of transport through rail and road.  It is now confined only to the crossing of rivers at the ferries from one side to the other where bridges don’t exist.

 

(iii)  Public and Private Transport

 

            Prior to June 1969, the Transport Department was under the control of Provincial Transport Controller who was the Head of the Department.  He used to deal with the enforcement of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules made thereunder as well as the Commercial Wing of the Transport Department.  It was felt necessary for public convenience that the two wings should be separated and controlled by two different Heads of Departments, to give equal justice to the private operators and Government transport undertakings.  The Transport Department was, therefore, bifurcated into two wings, viz.  Commercial Wing and Non-Commercial Wing, in June 1969.  The former is under the charge of Director, State Transport, Punjab, and the latter under the State Transport Commissioner, Punjab, as Heads of Departments, respectively.  The Director, State Transport, being the overall incharge of Commercial Wing, is concerned with the operation of State transport buses on commercial basis. The State Transport Commissioner is concerned with the work of issuing of route permits and the enforcement of Motor Vehicles Act and the rules framed thereunder.

 

Before the achievement of independence in 1947, road transport was mostly in the hands of private owners who never cared for the attainment of fair standard of efficiency or passenger amenities. Their only motive was large profits.  With the rapid development and extension of roads after the independence, coupled with the development of industries and agriculture, road transport, both passenger and goods, considerably increased.  The Government, therefore, started gradual nationalisation of this public utility service.   Although most of the bus routes are operated by Government Roadways, yet a good number of these are still operated by private transport companies.  The Punjab Government have liberalized the policy for the grant of public carriers permits.  Any body, who produces a mechanically fit vehicle, is issued a truck permit.  Apart from it, the State Government have entered into reciprocal transport agreements with the State of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir so that facilities for the transportation of public goods be extended throughout the country.

 

            State Owned Services. – Most of the important major bus routes in the district are operated by the Punjab Roadways, Pathankot and Batala.  The details of these are given in Appendix II on pages 220-222.  Besides, a night service has been started by the Punjab Roadways and the PEPSU Road Transport Corporation between Chandigarh and Batala.  Moreover, all places within a radius of 16 km from the district and sub-divisional headquarters have been connected by local bus service to provide extra transport facilities to the general public. 

 

            Private Bus Services. – A number of bus routes in the district are operated by private transport companies.  The particulars regarding these routes are given in Appendix III on pages 223-225.

 

(c)  Railways

 

           Railways occupy the premier place amongst modern means of transport.  They are most advantageous in the movement of heavy and bulky traffic, like the raw material of industry over long distances.  The economic development of a region is very largely dependent on the provision of cheap and efficient railway services.  Railways have brought about many political, social and economic changes in the life of the country.  The system of administrative machinery has been centralized.  In the pre-railway period, disruptive tendencies used to prevail among the various sections of the people and now a sense of nationality has developed.  At any emergent time, troops can be mobilized to the places of disorder and the frontier posts to put down insurrection.  Rail ways have mitigated the horrors and severities of famines.  By the transport of raw materials such as coal, etc. railways have stimulated the growth of manufacturing industries.  Railways have encouraged speedy movement of people from the areas of congestion.  Mobility of labour is a pre-requisite of industrial development.

 

            Gurdaspur District is connected by rail with the important stations, located in and outside the State.  The district lies in the Firozpur Division of the Northern Railway.  The Amritsar-Pathankot broad gauge line was opened in 1884.  It enters the district just near the Jaintipur station and passes through the tahsils of Batala, Gurdaspur and Pathankot.  The railway stations located on it are : Batala, Batala Sugar Mills, Chhina, Dhariwal, Sohal, Gurdaspur, Dinanagar, Parmanand, Jhako Lahri, Sarna, Bharoli and Pathankot.  The Batala-Qadian section serves the Batala Tahsil up to Qadian.  The stations located on it are : Vadala Garanthian and Qadian.  The Amritsar-Dera Baba Nanak section branches off from Verka and serves the western part of Tahsil Batala.  Before the partition in 1947, this line joined Sialkot (Pakistan), but now Dera Baba Nanak is the terminus.  The stations falling on this line in the district are : Fathegarh Churian, Hardo Rawal, Ratar Chhatar and Dera Baba Nanak.  The Jummu-Tawi-Pathankot-Mukerian-Jullundur City section, which is a broad gauge line, serves the Pathankot Tahsil.  The stations falling on this line in the district are : Madhopur, Sujanpur, Bharoli, Pathankot, Chakki Bank, Ghiala and Mirthal.  The Jogindernagar-Pathankot section is a narrow gauge line and serves a small part of the Pathankot Tahsil.

 

            The Appendices IV and V on pages 226-227 show the monthly average railway passengers and goods traffic and earnings in the district, during 1971-72.

 

            Rail-Road Competition. – The problem of competition among the various means of transport arises only when some means of transport extend their activities and cut into the other means of transport.  The main complaint of the railways against the competing road vehicles is that on account of the flexible character of their services, the road vehicles are free to choose the best paying traffic.  Railways have no such flexibility and as they are the common carriers, they have to accept whatever is offered to them.  Further, the railways have to bear the expenditure for the construction and maintenance of their permanent way while the road vehicles have the roads provided and maintained by the State authority for their use.

 

            The problem of rail-road competition in India of comparatively recent growth.  The growth reason for this was that the road system of India was not properly developed and it was only in the nineteen-twenties that the Government took up road development seriously.  The Railway Board Report of 1926-27 pointed out that the Indian railways had begun to feel the pressure of competition from motor-vehicles.  The economic depression of 1930 affected the railway adversely because the traffic decreased to a very great extent.  The road services on the other hand did not feel the effects of the depression.  In 1950, the Government appointed the Motor-Vehicles Taxation Enquiry Committee.  However, with the vast development of agriculture and industry in the country and the consequent increase in traffic, the rail-road competition has become a thing of the past and two systems of transport have become complementary rather than competitive.

 

(d) Waterways, Ferries and Bridges

 

Waterways.-  The district boundaries are circumscribed to a great extent by the rivers Chakki, Ravi, and Beas.  With the introduction of rail and road transport, water transport has received a set back.  However, timber is transported through the rivers Ravi and Beas.

 

            Ferries.-  Ferry-crossing are maintained wherever necessary. 

 

            Bridges.-  For smooth running of road traffic, bridges exist on the roads wherever necessary.

 

(e) Air Transport

            There is an aerodrome at Pathankot.  It serves the tourists coming from the various parts of the country as well as from abroad for visiting Kashmir, Kulu, Manali and other hill stations.

 

 

(f) Travel and Tourist Facility

 

            An attempt for taking up the work relating to the development of tourism in the Punjab was first made in 1951, when a State Level Committee, headed by a former Chief Justice of the Punjab High Court was formed.  The aim of the committee was to plan and advise on the development of important tourist centres all over the State.

 

            The Punjab Government is making serious efforts to develop tourist facility at the existing places with a view to ensuring that the available potential for the growth of tourist industry is fully exploited.  New spots for tourist attraction are being developed and tourist facilities at the existing places are being increased.  Shahpur Kandi, hitherto an district, is being developed.  A tourist bungalow has been constructed here. It provides all the modern facilities including air-conditioning, catering, etc., at reasonable rates.  A visitor can also spend his leisure time at Malakpur-Asia’s foremost hydraulic Research Station at the Upper Bari Doab Canal or at Madhopur known for the famous headworks on the River Ravi.  Beside, there are a number of dharmshalas, serais, and hostels in the district for the travelers, tourists and visitors.  Accommodation is also available for tourist, who are bona fide railway passengers in the Railway Retiring Rooms at the Railway Station, Pathankot.

 

            Pathankot has become a centre of transport to and form Jammu and Kashmir, Chamba Hills, Kangra Hills and the plains of Punjab.  All Tourists to Jammu and Kashmir, Dalhousie, Kulu and Manali pass through it.   A Tourist Information Office of the Punjab Government is lactated here. 

 

            Dak Bungalows and Rest Houses.- Accommodation is provided to the tourists in dak bungalows and rest houses, if it is available.  These are maintained by the different Government departments for the use of their employees during their visit to the different places.  A list of dak bungalows and rest houses in the district is given in Appendix VI on pages 228-230.

 

(g)  Posts, Telegraphs and Telegraphs and Telephones

 

            Posts. – The post offices in the district are under the control of the Superintendent, Post Offices, Gurdaspur Division, Gurdaspur.  To provide posting facilities to the public, letter boxes have been affixed at important centres in the towns which are cleared at fixed timings, twice or thrice a day.  In 1,1084 villages in the district, dak is delivered daily, in 318 villages tri-weekly and in 104 villages bi-weekly.  There is no weekly or no-dak village in the district.

 

            The Postal Index Number (PIN) Code was introduced into the country on August 15,1972.  It is a six digit code that identifies and locates every departmental delivery service.  It provides with a built-in routing information for postal sorting.

 

            On March 31, 1972, there was 1 Head Post Office, 46 Sub Post Offices, 186 Branch Post Offices and 2 Extra Departmental Sub-Offices in the district.  A list of these is given in Appendix VII on pages 231-236.

 

            Telegraphs. –The Telegraphs Office at Pathankot was converted from combined office to a departmental office on September 1, 1962.  This office has direct communication links with Jullundur, Amritsar, Jammu, Dharmsala, Dhalhousie, Chamba and Ambala.  It also serve almost all the important towns of the Gurdaspur District as well as the Kangra District  (Himachal Pradesh).  There are also combined post and telegraph offices in the district.  The important among these are at Batala, Furdaspur, Pathankot, Dhariwal, Dera Baba Nanak and Fathegrah Churian.  There are 18 key fitted sub-offices and 2 phone-cum-sub-offices and 2 phone-cum-extra departmental sub-offices in the district.

 

            On March 31, 1972, telegraph facilities were available in 26 post offices in the district, as given in Appendix VIII at the end of this chapter on page 237.

 

            Telephones. – There are 8 telephone exchanges in the district located at Gurdaspur, Dinanagar, Pathankot, Dhariwal, Batala, Srigobindpur, Qadian and Dera Baba Nanak.  These are functioning under the Telegraphs Engineer, Amritsar Division, Amritsar.  The total number of connections and extensions provided by these exchanges, as on December 31,1972, was 2,487 and 135, respectively.  Besides, there are 11 public call offices functioning in the district.

 

            Radio and Television. – Radios and transistors have become quite popular in the urban as well as rural areas.  As on December 31, 1973, as many as 79,011 broadcasting receiving licences had been issued in the district.  Under the Community Listening Scheme, 853 radio sets had been installed in the rural areas in the district up to March 31, 1973.  Since the establishment of the Amritsar Doordarshan (Television) Station in 1973, television is also becoming popular day by day.  Up to March 31, 1973, as many as 1,471 television licences had been issued in the district.

 

(h)  Organizations of Owners and Employees in the Field of

Transport and Communications

 

            There is no organization of owners in the field of transport and communications in the district.  The transport workers/employees working in various transport companies have, however, formed their unions to look after their service interests.  The unions functioning in the district are given hereunder :

 

Serial No.

Name of the Union

 

Date of Registration

1.

Railway Licensed Porters’ Union, Pathankot

..

5th June, 1956

2.

Transport Employees’ Union, Pathankot

..

4th March, 1965

3.

All Hill Motor Transport Workers’ Union, Batala

..

10th October, 1957

4.

District Transport Workers’ Union, Batala

..

25th April, 1967

5.

Rickshaw Mazdoor Sangh, Batala

..

12th June, 1969

6.

Rickshaw Mazdoor Sangh, Pathakot

..

2nd February, 1969

 


APPENDIX I

                                                                                                                                                                                    (Vide page 212)

 

Number of Different Types of Motor Vehicle Registered in the Gurdaspur District, 1967 to 1971-72

 

Year

 

Cars

Jeeps

Trucks

Taxis

Tractors

Buses

Motor Cycles

Auto

Rickshaws

Miscellaneous

1967

..

18

6

56

1

33

35

120

2

11

1968

..

26

19

84

1

120

30

239

18

12

1969

..

44

34

148

..

97

103

321

24

12

1970

..

35

44

196

..

243

27

336

53

3

1971-72

..

35

1

36

1

132

3

143

17

3

 

 

                                                                        (Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1968 to 1972)

 

 

 


APPENDIX  II

                                                                                                (Vide page 213)

 

Bus Routes Operated by the Punjab Roadways in the Gurdaspur District, as on March 31, 1972

 

Serial No.

Name of Route

 

No of Daily Trips

Route Length (km)

Total Daily Service (km)

 

Punjab Raodways Pathankot

 

 

 

 

1

Pathankot-Amritsar

..

41 ½

108

8,64

2

Amritsar-Batala

..

5

38

380

3

Pathankot- Mukerian

..

1

42

84

4

Pathankot-Jullandhur

..

13

114

2,64

5

Pathankot-Jummu

..

4

113

904

6

Pathankot-Chandigarh (via Jullundur

..

6

270

3.240

7

Pathankot-Kalka (via Hosiarpur)

..

1

270

540

8

Pathankot-Dalhousie

..

1

80

160

9

Amritsar-Dalhousie

..

1

188

376

10

Pathankot-Baijnath

..

1

142

284

11

Pathankot-Dharamsala

..

1

90

180

12

Pathankot-Shahpur Kandi

..

3

13

78

13

Shahpur Kandi-Balsua

..

1

24

48

14

Pathankot-Nurpur

..

1

26

52

15

Pathankot_Firozpur

..

1

236

472

16

Pathankot-Kapurthala

..

1

129

258

17

Pathankot-Talwara

..

2

69

276

18

Talwara-Amritsar

..

1

177

354

19

Pathankot-Amritsar (via Dera Baba Nanak)

..

2

138

552

20

Pathankot-Taragarh

..

1

84

168

21

Taragarh-Chak Sharif

..

1 ½

67

201

22

Gurdaspur- Chak Sharif

..

1

24

48

23

Pathankot-Delhi (via Jullundur)

..

1

484

968

24

Pathankot-Delhi (via Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh)

..

1

484

968

25

Pathankot-Jullundur

..

2

114

456

26

Pathankot-Jammu

..

1

113

226

27

Jammu-Delhi

..

1 ½

597

1,791

28

Pathankot-Katori Bangla

..

1

45

90

29

Pathankot-Dera Baba Nanak

..

4

77

616

30

Pathankot-Dorangla

..

2

14

56

31

Pathankot-Ludhiana

..

3

175

1,050

32

Pathankot-Dera Baba Jaimalsingh (Radha Swami)

..

6

115

1,380

33

Pathankot-Bhatinda

..

2

308

1,232

34

Pathankot-Dharmsala

..

1

90

180

35

Dharmsala- Chandigarh (via Una-Nangal)

..

1

249

498

36

Pathankot-Pindori Mahantan

..

1

50

100

37

Gurdaspur-Dorangla

..

3

14

84

 

(Local Bus Routes)

 

 

 

 

38

Sujanpur-Badhain (Bungal)

..

5

22

220

39

Pathankot-Madhopur

..

8

16

256

 

Punjab Roadways Batala

 

 

 

 

40

Jullundur-Qadian

..

1

98

196

41

Jullundur-Harchowal (via Qadian)

..

1

108

216

42

Jullund-Batala

..

26

81

4,212

43

Jullundur-Butala

..

1

53

106

44

Jullundur_Srigobindpur

..

1

79

158

45

Jullundur-Gurdaspur (via Srigobindpur)

..

1

121

242

46

Batala-Chandigarh

..

1

233

466

47

Batala-Dera Baba Nanak

..

7

30

420

48

Batala-Fetehgarh Churian

..

4

26

208

49

Batala-Harchowal

..

1

27

54

50

Batala-Bhadpatan

..

2

35

140

51

Batala-Qadian

..

6

17

204

52

Batala-Srigobindpur (via Harchowal)

..

1

36

72

53

Batala-Pindori Mahantan

..

½

59

59

54

Batala- Srigobindpur

..

4

30

240

55

Batala-ghuman

..

2 ½

30

150

56

Batala-Kahunwan

..

1

30

60

57

Batala-Gurdaspur

..

2

32

128

58

Batala-Kalanaur

..

4

22

17

59

Gurdaspur-Chandigarh

..

2

265

1,000

60

Gurdaspur- Srigobindpur

..

4

42

336

61

Gurdaspur-Kahnuwar

..

4

18

144

62

Srigobindpur-Ghuman

..

1

9

18

63

Batala-Mahta

..

6

16

192

64

Batala-Kotli Thaptan

..

6

16

192

 

(Source: General Managers, Punjab Roadways, Pathankot, Batala and Jullundur)

 

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