|IAHE main building|
After working in Ministry for 1 year, we were sent to train in IAHE, training ground for all Highway engineers recruited through UPSC. It was around October 2017.
We left our rented rooms and were happy to get a rent free accommodation in Delhi. We were sent to our respective rooms. Rooms were allotted twin sharing basis. As I entered the room, I was overwhelmed by the size and style. The room was major up gradation compared to pathetic one in which I was living in rent.
|IAHE entry gate|
We settled in the room and waited excitedly for others to come. There was lot of excitement as training was happening because of lot of follow ups with higher officials in Ministry. Batch of 2015 along with 3 of 2014 batch were first sent. Ours was the first batch to have a foreign training proposal as well as extension of earlier 3 months training to 6 months training. The Indian trips also had increased from 1 trip to 2 nos. Around November, our juniors of 2016 batch also came along. There were total 26 trainees to be trained. These 26 officers were called “special chabbis” after a popular bollywood movie.
|my room "messy as it gets"|
|enjoying cricket with seniors|
In the training I also had started doing yoga and also bought some 10 kg dumb bells. Those seem to be like New Year resolution never to be revisited again. I had semi religiously maintained a dairy in which daily events were recorded. This was because of my need to read something or write something. However, towards the fag end of training, all these things gave way to lots of sleeping and gup-shup with friends.
Apart from foundation training, IAHE is also host to numerous International trainings. There is mandate from MEA (Ministry of external affairs) to train some associate engineering officers from foreign countries in Highway sectors. I had interaction with only few people from South Africa.
|69th Republic day in IAHE|
Our first field visit came to Jaipur. We were all little bit disappointed in the choice of the place. More over we were little off put by the Authorities of IAHE who had asked us to shift our belongings to one room. We were stern in our stand not to bend. The impasse was broken when Director talked about the heavy rush of engineers from foreign countries. Three rooms instead of one were given for shifting. However, our concern turned to be unfound as the trip was a great success. This was because of the excellent arrangements made by RO Jaipur. The journey was made via bus. During the bus journey, it was a jolly party with singing and dancing.
The first visit was NH-8 Jaipur Kishngarh, which was a BOT project. The road according to me looked splendid. I couldn’t but wonder the traffic of Jaipur appeared very less. There were ample flyovers. There were multiple level structure of transportation with metro at first level and road directly on top of it. I wondered at the foresight of the engineers. The land is very precious and it is time to utilise it for different forms of transport. The time of excusive Right of way to Roads or the Railway or the Waterways is fast coming to an end. We did have a glimpse of extra dose bridge, RE walls, Tunnels, Concrete and Bituminous roads. We went to see Gardmahadev temple, Chawkidhani , Dharga in pushkar and of course forts like Amer. I was personally excited to see the IIT coaching Institutes. The young teenagers reminded me of my school days. The culinary delight was the dal bhati churma. We were fully stuffed with ghee.
|group photo of MoRTH and BRO officers in IAHE|
Around the same time, CES (Roads) association was strengthened with a steady subscription fees. Task groups in which one of my colleague was also elected executive committee member was formed. We gave our request regarding calling on Hon’ble President of India. While for other ESE organisations, it was routine part of training, we had to pursue a lot with Administration. A Whatsapp group of CES (Roads) was formed around this time. It was mainly to address the welfare of association members collectively that needed to be addressed. The trainees undergoing foundation course were of course one of the firsts to give subscription fees.
The training quality was marginally improved with better faculty and inclusion of software like MX Roads, STAAD and IIT Pave. The time period was increase from 3 months to 6 months. However, the main highlight was the foreign proposal which was one of its kinds.
|Planting tree in IAHE by 2014,2015 and 2016 batch|
Our second trip was to Kerala. The selection of site was somewhat disappointing personally for me as I wanted to go some place which was not earlier visited. I was thinking of North eastern states. The choice in front of us was Andhra Pradesh or Kerala and all favoured Kerala. We were given flight tickets to Kerala. It was quite some time since visit of Kerala. We were first sent to Trivandrum in a hotel. Our first site visit was Kanaya kumari. The main attraction of trip was the bus which was a fully fledged DJ floor with lights and laser and music box which will bend any speakers to their knees.
|GOD'S own country Kerala|
Our second visit was in Trivandrum in Muscat hotel. Director IAHE had arranged for us to meet with Dr. E Sreedharan, more famously known as the Metro Man. He gave an inspiring speech on the Management, time efficiency, integrity and most important about maintaining a good health. I was most attracted by his charisma and charm. He was old but was full of vigour. The team visited Trivandrum bypass, kollam bypass and Alapuzha bypass. Along with these visits, many tourist locations like kovalam beach, Alapuzha back waters and other shopping areas were covered. The trip was good and fun. For many of juniors, it was first opportunity for flight.
|Dr. E. Sreedharan|
Our next leg of work was Ministry attachment for 1 month. The attachment was a good opportunity to savour all food in different Bhawans. It was also good opportunity to meet senior officers and know about the working of different section.
|Meeting Honorable Minister RT&H|
Our final conclusion was the President meet which happened on 2nd April 2018. This was the second opportunity in MoRTH. The call on of Hon’ble President of India by MoRTH officer trainees was one of the most cherished moments in trainee’s life. We were accompanied by Secretary (RT&H), DG and Special Secretary (RD), Director of IAHE(ADG). We took lots of photographs. Unlike earlier meets, we were given opportunity to have a guided tour in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The best part was that we were shown place where in the evening, Padma Shree awards were to be distributed. Hon’ble President of India emphasised the need of Infrastructure to be accessible to differently abled and the importance to maintain integrity in profession. And when in doubt remember technocrats like M. Visveshvaraya and Dr. E Sreedharan.
|MoRTH officers call on Honorable President of India|
We were now waiting for our posting order to come. Our sweet time had come to an end. I felt like my college days.