Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Techies drive round in circles for parking space in Electronic City

Techies drive round in circles for parking space in Electronic City

Techies are forced to walk down all the way to their company after parking their vehicles 3km away from Electronic City for want of parking space. The only options left are to take public transport, or opt for car pooling which they don't favour, Shwetha S reports

Shwetha S

Parking has been a problem in Central Business District areas. The nightmare is now being replayed in the city's hi-tech area.Despite company buses and vans ferrying.
IT professionals throughout the day, the Electronic City and surrounding areas are facing a massive parking problem. This is acute even at Sarjapur Road area. Lakhs of IT professionals are employed in about 157 software companies located inside the E-city. And in the last few months, the problem has become a headache for both the IT sector and the residents. The parking problem may become more acute once the elevated highway opens.
"A few years ago, not every employee used to get the car to the office. The company had enough space to park the staff vehicles inside the premises. Now in all the companies, about 70% of the employees own car and drive it to office every day, but the companies are lacking space to accommodate all the cars and vehicles inside the campus," Prakash Rao of the Electronic City Industries Association said (Elcia).
Since finding a parking spot is becoming increasingly difficult, many of the employees are forced to park their vehicles outside the company premises. But parking is allowed only on one side of the road. So this has become a major problem for all the employees. Now most of the techies have to park in an empty land near a village which is 3km away from the E-city and have to walk down all the way to their company.
Only Infosys has adequate space for their employees to park their vehicles. Companies such as WIPRO, HP, Satyam and TCS do not have space even to accommodate vehicles of their own employees inside the premises. Besides employees, visitors do not have place to park their vehicles. They are also forced to go in circles in search of parking space.
The only solution for techies is to switch over to public transport. Elcia is asking the big and small IT companies to make use of public transport. According to a survey conducted by it in 2008, about 17,000 to 18,000 vehicles visited Electronic City every day. In 2009, this figure went up to 34,000 vehicles. There is no use in building multi-tier parking facilities because vehicular flow keeps increasing.
Considering the plight of the employees, WIPRO, Seimens and Infosys are building multi-storied car parking for their employees. Till the completion of these facilities, employees have to go through the nightmare every day.
"There are about 10 to 12 villages surrounding this IT hub. Residents from these areas too use the same road to reach the main Hosur Road. We have asked the government to make a bypass in such a way, they divert the other vehicles through a ring road that can connect Hosur main road directly," Rao said.
Car pooling has not been successful yet in IT hubs, especially in Electronic City as many techies do not favour the idea.
They do not like sharing the cab with their colleges or strangers. They want privacy and maximum comfort while driving. Only about 10% to 20% of the techies opt for car pooling in Electronic City. But this number is deceptive as many among them do not want it on a regular basis.
"I used to drive my car every day to office. Because of parking woes, I used to reach office one hour early. But after some time, I stopped taking my car. Now I either take my two-wheeler or BMTC Volvo bus to reach my office. Until the multi-storied car parking facilities become operational, I will have to rely on my bike or Volvo bus to reach my office,'" Shiva Prasad, one of the employees with WIPRO, said


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