Shalini Baweja, Director, Kap Cones Pvt Ltd, IMT Manesar
It has been five years since I shifted to Gurgaon from Delhi in the hope that I would save commuting time as Gurgaon is just 20 kilometres from my workplace, the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar. However, I realise now to my utter dismay that it was a futile move.
On a regular day, it takes me about an hour-and-a-half to cover the nearly 22-kilometre distance from my home in Sector 15 to my plant at IMT, Manesar.
The ordeal gets worse during monsoon as waterlogging on the expressway is a perennial issue.
Considering all these factors, I have to start my day early to pass through the bottlenecks on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, especially at the Kherki Daula toll plaza, and then on the stretch of the National Highway-8 where the Pink City flyover is coming up.
Since our staff bus also gets stuck in traffic, I have arranged for some of my employees to stay at Manesar itself. I pay them extra allowances to stay in Manesar away from their families. But, at least, that saves my company both in terms of time and money.
I can recall an embarrassing incident with a team of Japanese clients who visited my office.
Once they landed at the international airport in Delhi, they were quite excited to see the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway of which they had heard a lot.
But, reality set in as it took them two hours to reach Manesar. Besides getting stuck at the two toll plazas — at Sirhaul and Kherki Daula — they were aghast to see cattle roaming on the expressway. They questioned why we pay toll for such mismanagement. Before leaving, the Japanese hopelessly asked us if we would take the same way back to the airport.
We lose important man-hours, waste money on fuel that is consumed at the toll plazas and yet end up paying toll twice a day. Driving to IMT Manesar would have been simpler on a highway without any toll system. The expressway and its toll plazas do not serve any purpose.
(As told to Leena Dhankhar)