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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

And officer in charge of the Nushki Robat road


Captain Webb-Ware, C.I.E.--The Nushki route--An excellent track--Bungalows built and in course of construction--The water--Postal service--Important Government concession--The Nushki route and the railways--Hints to traders--Quaint official formalities--Pilgrims and their ways--An amusing incident.

We arrived very early at Dalbandin, the march from Chakal being very short (18 miles, 190 yards) and easy. Here I had the pleasure of meeting Captain F. C. Webb-Ware, C.I.E., Political Assistant at Chagai, and officer in charge of the Nushki-Robat road. Not only has this officer devoted all his time and energy to making the road, but, being a man of means, he has personally gone to considerable expense to "push" the road and make it a success. It would not have been easy to find a more practical and sensible man to do the work, and, considering the difficulties he had to encounter, it is marvellous with what little expenditure he has obtained such excellent results.

It is all very well for the usual newspaper critic--who generally does not know what he is writing about--to complain of this and complain of that, and declare that something should have been done in exactly the contrary way to the way in which it is done. In regard to this road, any one with any common sense must see that all that could have been done has been, or is being, done--and done well.

[Illustration: The Type of Thana and New Bungalow between Nushki and Robat.]

The road itself--for a desert road--is excellent in every way as far as the frontier, and some sort of shelter is to be found at every stage. Of course the road has only just been opened and all the arrangements for the accommodation of travellers are not quite completed, but large comfortable bungalows had already been erected--as we have seen--at Robat, Mirui, and Dalbandin, while smaller buildings of the same type will shortly be completed at Mall, Kuchaki Chah, Yadgar Chah, Sotag, and Chah Sandan. In addition to these, the erection of bungalows has been taken in hand at Chakal, Tretoh, Mushki-Chah, Saindak, Kirtaka, and Mahommed Raza Chah, and it was anticipated that all these rest houses would be finished before the close of 1902.

Owing to the great increase in the traffic upon the route, the accommodation at Mall, Yadgar Chah, and Karodak, has been nearly doubled, and two rooms added to the already extensive _thana_ at Dalbandin, while the Tretoh, Mushki-Chah, and Mukak posts have been much enlarged and strengthened.

On the Persian territory the Vice-Consul in Sistan has erected small shelters, which, although necessarily not quite so luxurious as those under the direct control of the British authorities, are yet quite good enough for any one to spend a a night in. We have thus a complete belt of rest-houses extending from Quetta to Sher-i-Nasrya in Sistan.

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