Bikers gang meet CGM duo

Central Chronicle News
Bhilai, Aug 23: A team of 10 Brave bikers from SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant who went on a fascinating trip to Ladakh on 26th July, 33 years ago and returned back to Bhilai in August 1988 relived their memories while interacting with UK Jha, CGM (TSD) & Nisha Soni, CGM(Pers.), BSP on August 19, 2021.
Vivek Lakkewar, S K Sharma, K K Sharma, Vinay Saxena, Chandra Sekhar Pashine, Sumit Sarkar, Subrat Sen, Vijay Goyal, Rakesh Asthana and Aniruddha Guha embarked on a journey to Ladakh after getting inspired by an article on a “journey to Khardungla” way back in 1988. An official Bhilai Adventurer’s Club project, the trip was planned after writing to the Defence Ministry and various Tourist offices in Kashmir and Ladakh, seeking information and necessary permits. The bravehearts were flagged off from Khursipar High School zone – 1 on July 26, 1988 by then Managing Director E R C Sekhar. The bikers gang faced challenges like travelling through 2.5 km long Jawahar tunnel without lights, through narrow valleys, crossing convoys of hundreds of military vehicles etc. They halted at Drass, one of the coldest places on earth and even drove through Hungaroo Loop, a serpentine road with countless hairpin bends and sharp inclines. They stayed at Khardungla at 16000 feet, with breathing difficulties. With low oxygen levels & ripped bike tyres due to sharp stones, the gang maintained their average speed around 10-15 kms. As petrol pumps were few and far between, they switched off their engines, to conserve precious fuel. The scorching sun, low oxygen levels and paucity of food made them weary at times. A couple of the bikes broke down and got stranded while crossing a stream Gangala Jal, which forced the bikers to physically push the bikes out of the icy cold water. Orchards and fields gave way to pines, firs, birches with melting glaciers. The pleasure of watching meadows with grazing horses and meeting the Dalai Lama in person in Leh was a memorable experience. Valleys carpeted in white, yellow, violet, pink, red and blue flowers captivated their senses.
These and many more wonderful memories were rekindled on August 19, 2021, the day they returned to Bhilai after the marathon journey, while spending some time with UK Jha, CGM (TSD) & Nisha Soni, CGM(Pers.), BSP. Out of the group CS Pashine, AGM (Mines) Retd, Sumit Sarkar, AGM (TSD), KK Sharma, NSPCL, (Retd), SK Sharma, Sr. Operator, Vinay Saxena, DPC, Vijay Goel, DGM (Retd), Rakesh Asthana, DGM (Retd) were able to make it while Vivek Lakkewar, Sr Technician, Subrat Sen, DGM (Retd) and Anirudha Guha, GM (Retd) were unable to attend the meet.

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