Wednesday, May 19, 2010

City techies give expressway the miss

City techies give expressway the miss
By: Priyanjali Ghose Date: 2010-05-17 Place: Bangalore

High tolls keep software professionals from using Hosur elevated expressway while commuting to Electronic city

Nearly three-and-a-half months after the inauguration of the Hosur Expressway, software professionals with four-wheelers avoid using it due to high toll rates and the perpetual bottleneck at the Central Silk Board junction.

"Rs 30 as one-time toll for a four-wheeler is way too high. It is like paying for almost half a litre of petrol.

You end up saving practically nothing despite using your own vehicle," said BS Manjunath (32), a software engineer with HCL, who commutes to work in his Santro to Electronic city.

Techies pay toll of Rs 30 for a four-wheeler at the Hosur Expressway.

Cost factor

Mohit Narang, a software professional in a private company, agrees. "Not many people can afford that kind of money everyday.

Even if we use the expressway to save time, we get stuck in traffic at the Silk Board junction. So using the flyover makes no difference," said Mohit Narang, a software professional in a private company in Electronic city.

"One considers this and decides to take roads where one does not have to pay anything." The authorities agreed that the toll rates were high but said they could not think of a solution.

No remedy

"We have no remedy to offer. We only collect toll fixed by the National Highway Authority," said MR Deshpande, general manager, Bangalore Elevated Tollways Limited.

Experts suggested that the expressway should be made more attractive to the commuters.

"Reducing the toll price is a solution and an underpass in the outer ring road may solve the problem," explained MN Sreehari, an advisor to the Karnataka government for traffic, transport and infrastructure.

H Prakash Rao, the president of Electronics City Industries' Association, said that proposals have been made to the authorities to encourage more people to use the expressway.

"It is disappointing that the expressway is not being used by the techies for whom it is built.

We have already proposed to the authorities that they fix the toll price based on trips. This should also help the toll company's revenues," he said.

Rs 30
One-way toll for four-wheelers on the Hosur Expressway

Rs 45
Two-day toll on the expressway

Rs 300
Monthly pass for four-wheelers on Hosur Expressway


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