In Maoist heartland, a bus service resumes after 12 years

Although the bus connects two harmless cities in the Sukma district in southern Chhattisgarh, its course can be followed by security forces as thoroughly as with the Samjhauta Express, a weekly train between India and Pakistan.

Bus passengers between Gupta Travels Dornapal and Jagargonda must carry their Aadhar card at all times as proof of identity. And as the bus passes through every 13 CRPF fields along the way, you must make mandatory stops for the driver to sign the registration. In some places, each of the passengers to disembark and go through a complete disaster.

The road is bad, the bus without air conditioning is not very comfortable and the passengers are mostly extremely poor.

But the journey of 56 kilometers that the bus is, anyway, every day is like no other country. Reintroduced after 12 years, it passes through the Maoist heart where the security forces fought against the insurgents in an endless cycle of violence. In April, it was Barkapal on the bus route, a Maoist ambush killed 25 CRPF men in.

Given the explosions and bloodshed in the region, the bus driver leaves nothing to chance while negotiating the road under construction for years, but it is still far from having completed the face violent Maoist opposition.

“Koi nahi jayega Neeche highway ke sab … pe high road Nipat lena,” shouts at the passengers, warning them against the fall of the road to respond to the call of nature. Often blocked, the stretch has seen 18 FDI bursts in the last three years.

The bus service – carried out privately, but under state sponsorship – was disrupted 12 years ago after the spiral of violence. Although no less dangerous now, neighbours are willing to take the risk because the bus is their lifeline in a region devoid of connectivity. The rickety jeeps pick up passengers for a price on the stretch, but they were uneven, inadequate and overcrowded. Hindu, a ten-year-old resident of Jagargonda, has reason to be satisfied that the bus service will be presented again from May 3 to the driver’s side, which ends at a ridge of Gondi. His travel times to visit relatives in Dornapal fell by more than half.

The bus leaves at 6 am Jagargonda every day for Dornapal. The trip starts at 15:00.

“Darr Lagta hain a kya Lekin Karein? (We are afraid, but what can we do), Kamlesh said the driver. He and passengers comfort themselves with the fact that Maoists to date have not directed not to a civilian transport

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