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  • 13-Aug-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    The Jagannath road

    What is common to Kisari Mohan Ganguli and Manmatha Nath Dutt? Towards end of the 19th century, both translated the Mahabharata, in unabridged form, from Sanskrit to English

  • 02-May-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    Thomason and Roorkee

    A trip to IIT Roorkee leads to the discovery of a colonial-era engineer who has the distinction of an educational institution and a locomotive being named after him.

  • 04-Apr-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    Srinagar to Leh

    But was trade to Ladakh and beyond really that important, as opposed to strategic importance of the road?

  • 07-Feb-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    Kalka to Shimla by road

    There were multiple reasons for building this road - possible trade ties with Tibet, strategic cum defence reasons, connectivity to hill stations.

  • 22-Jan-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    The spectre of BJP

    Though Ghose pegs the book to the present government, blamed for an increase in illiberalism, let's focus on that core liberal agenda

  • 17-Jan-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    A bridge over the Damodar

    When one reads old district gazetteers, one marvels at the wealth of material and at the reading habits of the authors

  • 03-Jan-2019 | Bibek Debroy

    On the grand trunk road

    What is a "trunk road" and who decided GT Road and BT Road should be trunk roads? Also, what does it take for a truck road to become an "imperial" trunk road?

  • 20-Dec-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Trip down Grand Trunk Road

    Under the Maurya Empire, roads were built, one from Takshashila to Pataliputra and beyond. There can never be an exact match, but that's more or less what GT Road is

  • 06-Dec-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    A sense of deja vu

    In 1927-28, the Indian Road Development Committee, chaired by M R Jayakar, had implicitly thought of a multi-layered network of roads, main roads and feeder roads

  • 22-Nov-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    The Imperial Gazetteer on roads

    Before the advent of British rule, roadways in the modern sense were practically unknown; and even after its establishment there were few to be found, except within urban limits

  • 08-Nov-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Darjeeling in 1905

    The two most important factors in the development of Darjeeling have been the choice of the district for a health resort and the subsequent planting of tea in the hills

  • 24-Oct-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Howrah in 1909

    The district gazetteer for Howrah in 1909 has a description of the district that is considerably different from today's Howrah

  • 11-Oct-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Gurgaon in 1883

    What was the irrigation system like? And how were ailments treated?

  • 20-Sep-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    What Delhi looked like in 1883-84

    Not much was manufactured in the city and one could actually see the Himalayas from Delhi, according to the Delhi Gazetteer for the period

  • 06-Sep-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Rohtak, more than one hundred years ago

    Would you have expected irrigation and canals to lead to inferior health outcomes?

  • 23-Aug-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    A treasure trove of information

    The British were wonderful at documenting and the colonial gazetteers contain information of great strategic importance

  • 09-Aug-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Gauge conversion issues

    In this process, 36 unmanned level crossings were eliminated and replaced by manned level crossings

  • 26-Jul-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    A sugar mill locomotive

    When we think of assets of sick public sector enterprises, we think of land or plant and machinery. But there are locomotives too

  • 13-Jul-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    The case of the missing locomotives

    One of the four steam locomotives that turned up in 1909 is on display at National Railway Museum. A second locomotive is on a plinth in Amritsar workshop

  • 29-Jun-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Coaches and numbers

    A new report about gangs stealing coaches from Ranchi is simply inaccurate. However, with multiple marshalling yards in Delhi, coaches could have got misplaced

  • 19-Jun-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Ups and downs in the Railways

    There are several chapters that transcend the personal and have insights about railway policy - dishonesty and falsification of records, safety and corruption

  • 15-Jun-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    The existence of railway hospitals

    In a way, Indian Railways already allows for competition. In addition to 125 railway hospitals, 133 private hospitals are recognised for treatment

  • 01-Jun-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    What's the job of any railways in the world?

    ...To run trains, not run schools. Indeed, other than India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Uganda, there is no other place where railways run schools

  • 18-May-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    Accrual accounting & the landing of a pilot

    The Indian Railways' recent decision to switch from cash-based to accrual-based accounting brings to fruition a vision that found mention in the Railway Minister's Budget Speech for 2003-04

  • 04-May-2018 | Bibek Debroy

    A paper tiger express

    There isn't an alternative to trains slowing down on sensitive tiger corridors, especially at night. Otherwise, the Tiger Express may not have any tigers left to see