Saturday, January 23, 2010

Expressway puts hope on fast lane

Expressway puts hope on fast lane

IT firms based in Electronic City feel that the new expressway will end the nightmare that commuting to
workplace had become to their employees. They are even hopeful that thousands of prospective employees who said 'no' to their offers might now come back to them, report Devina Sengupta and Shwetha S

Devina Sengupta and Shwetha S

Hours before the longest elevated expressway to the Electronic City was thrown open to commuters on Friday, TV Mohandas Pai, human resource head of Infosys Technologies, was talking about how the unclogging of the traffic on the Hosur Road would improve the employability for companies housed in the city's tech hub.
He said his company had lost 15,000-16,000 workers over the last 15 years because of bad connectivity. "We lost them (employees) because they did not want to commute to the Electronic City (because of bad infrastructure)."
The country's second largest information technology (IT) company has a sprawling campus spread over 50,000 acres in the Electronic City, with over 50,000 people working out
of it.
The HR head of country's the second largest IT firm said the new flyover would cut the time taken to travel from the city to the tech hub by 30 minutes, which would translate into higher productivity and revenue for companies located there.
"It will save at least half an hour of travel time and that means for 100,000 employees of Infosys — 50,000 hours will (collectively) get saved. Electronic City will become the best place to work in India (with the opening up of the flyover). It will also reduce the stress levels and improve performance of the employees," said Pai.
And it's not just him, who can't stop raving about the benefits that would accrue to companies because of the world class infrastructure.
Babu Rangaswamy, director, best shore application services — India Centre, Hewlett-Packard Pvt Ltd, felt that the expressway would improve the work-life balance of employees working from their office in the tech city. "Employees can now leverage their time at work and manage a healthy work-life balance. The elevated road will not only help reduce carbon emissions, but also set the tone of improved infrastructure in the city," he said.
Wipro's Joseph John said: "The number of Wipro busses ferrying the employees will get reduced, leading to less carbon emissions. Time gets saved and employee productivity will increase."
Srikanth Paturi, a regular commuter to the Electronic City, said his travel would now be easier and quicker. "Though I won't be using the expressway regularly, I can still use it when it's required or during emergencies," he told DNA.
He was, however, sceptical on whether the new expressway would completely end the traffic nightmare that the Hosur Road has become.
"The traffic jam problem near the Silk Board junction will persist as all the vehicles will arrive there and get clogged. Though we will be able to reach the Silk Board from Electronic City easily, we may get stuck in a jam after that," said Paturi.
Techie Anish Ratnam, a resident of Frazer Town, however, said that the expressway would cut the travel time by more than half.
Anand Rao, a software professional with a tech firm in the Electronic City, believed the high toll fee could be dampener. "I feel the toll fixed is quite high. Most of us work only for five days in a week. It's not worth paying Rs900 per month. We would rather take the alternative routes (than pay the toll)."


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