Before the closure of the highway buses were the main transport means along the route that made travelling either to Siliguri or Kurseong easy. Most importantly, the residents had opened eateries along the road that served as means of livelihood. Most of the tourist buses or taxis that plied on the road used to stop by the eateries. Like me most of the residents who had opened up eateries depended on it for livelihood but the closure has shattered all this since the past two years, said Pranab Rai, an owner of an eatery shop.
More than 10 such eateries existed along the route that unfortunately has shut down now. The owners now are looking for new avenues for livelihood but things have not been easy to change business says most of the owners. Another major debacle that the route has faced is the non-functioning of the toy train. The toy train is one source that pulled tourists to the region.
If things have gone from bad to worse for the residents along NH 55, residents at Rohini are rejoicing after Ghisingh built road famously known as ‘Rohini Road’ came into existence.
“This road (Rohini Road) has been a blessing in disguise for the residents ever since it came into existence. The resident, until the road was constructed has faced a lot of hardships. Students, farmers and the general people had to walk miles to reach Kurseong town bearing the sun, rain and much more. The construction of the road and plying of vehicles regularly has been a respite for us,” says Dhiraj Lama, a resident.
Contrary to what the eatery shops faced at NH 55, along Rohini route such eateries have increased to innumerable. “Had the road not come up we would not have got the opportunity to set up a restaurant. The road has opened up avenues for not just development through eateries. A number of investors are also eyeing the area to set up hotels and resorts,” said a restaurant owner.
Rohini, until some years ago when the road was yet to come was considered as the remotest village in Kurseong Sub-division. Although being a remote one, the place was famous for kalo dal (Black Dal).