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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Gurgaon: save us from toll virus, say IT-BPO firms

Deevakar Anand, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, August 03, 2013
First Published: 00:27 IST(3/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:42 IST(3/8/2013)

Despite housing offices of 250 Fortune500 companies and several others, Gurgaon is fast becoming an uncompetitive business destination, thanks to the slow lanes of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.

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The companies here suffer losses in terms of extra transportation costs due to the traffic bottlenecks on the expressway and its toll plazas, say leaders of the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry.

Thousands of IT-BPM cabs get stuck at the Sirhaul toll plaza in the absence of effective management.

Waiting at the toll plaza results in extra fuel cost, besides adding to the already-high air pollution levels, says Subinder Khurana, chief operating officer of Gurgaon-based BankSmarts Solutions.

Read more: Drain on resources, toll plaza clog dents city’s global corporate image

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However, the larger loss is the disruption of the work-life balance of employees who end up waiting at the toll plaza for hours. “This affects their productivity and results in business loss for us,” said Khurana.

He is former chairman of the Haryana regional council of industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and has actively worked with authorities over the issue of traffic management.

Vehicles make a beeline at the toll plaza of Ambience mall, Gurgaon. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Associate director of administration at travel firm MakeMyTrip.com Ravi Prakash Tyagi has had a first-hand experience of the chaos that the company managements have to deal with when their employees report late because of being stuck at the toll plaza bottleneck.

Read more: ‘Remove toll to make city a better trade hub’

“We run a fleet of 80 cabs which get stuck at the toll plaza almost every day. We lose crucial business hours. The meeting schedules go haywire. Cabs burn more fuel. Employees report higher fatigue levels,” he said.

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Pradeep Yadav, founder member of Haryana Information Technology and Telecom-enabled Industries Confederation (Hitec), said given the impediment that the toll plaza creates, it should be closed.

“The industry should not mind paying a one-time monetary compensation if the toll operators want that in lieu of moving out. Instead of bearing the brunt of this mismanagement every day, the companies can contribute up to Rs. 10 lakh each and get the toll system removed,” he said.

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