If you are an army brat, watching tanks through the cantonment roads would be a common sight. But that is not true for the common civilians. Watching a tank roll through the friendly neighbourhood can become interesting in many ways. Here is a town in India where it is a common sight. The video below is from the streets of the same city.
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Now replay that video and closely watch the people on the street. Does it look a little unreal? No one around the tanks has an expression of shock, to say the least. In fact, the rider on Royal Enfield was looking out for the cow instead of the iron war machine rolling alongside. Most of us cannot imagine tanks rolling through our neighbourhood roads. So what is happening here?
The video is from a town called Avadi. It is located in the western part of Chennai city, Tamil Nadu. The reason people acting like that they watch tanks rolling through the neighbourhoods daily, then it is probably true. A manufacturing arm of the tank production facility is located in this city. While tanks regularly do not use civilian roads in most part of India, this road is a regular carrier of the tanks.
Special track for the tanks
Now if you watch the video again and pay close attention to its caterpillar tracks, you will notice that it is not on the tarmac. The authorities have built a special stone path for the tanks to use. The facility builds and tests tanks in this region and the test track goes through a residential area too. Since the tracks of the tanks can damage the roads, the authorities have laid a separate track for the tanks.
Special rocks have been laid for the path so that the tanks do not damage the tarmac roads. The caterpillar tracks of the tanks are specially built to endure through any kind of surface. They are so capable that the hefty tanks can even cross mildly swampy situations and sand dunes. They can easily roll over the tarmac but it will cause a lot of damage to the road surface.
The tank that you see going through the neighbourhood in this video is a T-72 MBT or Main Battle Tank). The Indan version is known as Ajeya. However, they are built and sold by Russia originally as T72 MBT. India has a lot of T-72 tanks. It began purchasing the tanks way back in 1978. Russia was a part of the USSR back then. In India, the production of the tanks was undertaken by Heavy Vehicles Factory located in Avadi.
It is a common sight for the locals of Avadi to look at the tanks passing through the neighbourhood. The tanks go to and froth between the Engine Factory of the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) and the trial ground of the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA). Since the distance between both places is only 5 km, they decided to build a track for the tanks.