Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Techies fear traffic mayhem on Hosur Road

Wipro Mulls Changing Work Timings; Nilekani Moots Upgradation Of Roads

Times of India

The government's proposals for the elevated expressway on Hosur Road from the Silk Board to the Electronic City has opened up a Pandora's box, even before the ink has dried on the paper. The biggest worry for the techies is the chaos the project would create during its execution. The Wipro employees, who will be the most affected because of the diversion of the traffic, have got together and have shot off mails to Tamal Dasgupta, president and CIO, Wipro Technologies, highlighting their concerns.

"Already travel is tough for us and this proposal promises to really mess up an already messy situation for 24 to 36 months," they said. Concurring this, Infosys' CEO, Nandan Nilekani, categorically says that unless the by-pass road connecting Hosur Road to Sarjapur Road, NH 207 and the existing roads on either side are upgraded before the work on the elevated highway begins, there will be mayhem. "You have to create a a good alternative route to reach the Electronic City —this is a prerequisite," he says. One of the suggestions that the Wiproites have come up with is that truck traffic should be stopped on Hosur Road from 7-10 am and 5-8 pm. "This has been implemented in other cities. Moreover, during the truckers strike, Hosur Road was totally decongested,"they say. To avoid traffic rush, Wipro is debating the idea of beginning work at 7.30 am instead of 8.30 am and end the day also early. Infosys starts work at 8 am.

According to the former professor of Bangalore University, C.E.G. Justo who has specialised in highway engineering, the project is likely to take 30 months. "You need at least 6-8 months to come up with a design and planning and if the whole project if executed properly, you can complete it within two years. But, the point here is, commitment."And, most important is the fact that there have to be no exits leading off from the elevated highway. "Only then it could be called an expressway. You can have an exit midway between the Electronic City and Hosur," says Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Dasgupta says the upside is there will be no villagers crossing the roads. "On either side of Hosur Road, there are a number of villages and there is no way you can keep them off the road." And he says, "the techies can reach Electronic City in 30 minutes."


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