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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

CEOs, execs walk to work

Deevakar Anand and Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, April 23, 2013
First Published: 01:33 IST(23/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:34 IST(23/4/2013)

The roads in the Millennium City are a bane for pedestrians and cyclists, found a group of CEOs of prominent IT and BPO firms here who conducted a street audit on Monday as part of Nasscom Haryana Regional Council’s ‘Walk to Work’ initiative.

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Several CEOs, along with nearly 350 executives of various firms, participated in the event to highlight the importance of pollution-free and non-motorised transport infrastructure in the city on the occasion of Earth Day.

“I didn’t feel safe while walking to my office because of the lack of pavements. Most motorists are yet to appreciate the rights of pedestrians. Since we were walking in groups, we could make our way but it would be very difficult to walk or cycle alone,” said Manas Fuloria, Co-founder and MD (Europe), Nagarro Software, who walked on the Gateway Tower (DLF Cyber City) to Udyog Vihar stretch, one of the three designated routes for Monday’s event.

Gateway Tower to the Microsoft office in DLF Cyber City and Huda City Centre Metro station to Unitech Cyber Park were the other two stretches where the CEOs took to the streets.

“It would be a lot easier if there was a foot overbridge in front of the Huda City Centre Metro station. This would allow Metro commuters to easily cross the busy road,” said Pawan Tayla, CFO, Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

The lack of zebra crossings, crossover facilities and cycle ramps, open ditches and insensitive motorists were the other hurdles that the executives had to face.

The white-collar professionals also underlined the need for better Metro shuttle services in areas like Udyog Vihar and Infocity in Sector 34, both clusters of corporate companies.

CEOs and senior executives of major companies like Make My Trip, Rapid Metro, IBM, GE Money, Convergys, Authbridge, Summit Information Technology, Sunlife, Knowlarity, Movico Technologies, Banksmarts Solutions among others participated in the event.

According to Nasscom, nearly 2 lakh people work in Gurgaon’s IT-BPO firms. Companies are making concerted efforts to switch to mass transit systems like the Delhi Metro and upcoming Rapid Metro from the existing fleet of diesel-guzzling cabs as commuting options for their employees.

This is, however, hindered by constraints of last mile commuting from Metro stations like unregulated autorickshaws and lack of adequate shuttle services, besides damaged footpaths and pedestrian-unfriendly traffic management.

“This is a start which will set the ball rolling for larger agendas like reducing pollution, limiting traffic on the road and popularising the use of public transport,” said Deep Kalra, CEO, MakeMyTrip.

Sanjiv Rai, managing director, Rapid Metro, said, “Initiatives like Walk-to-Work will help highlight the importance of public transport and walking; which in turn will create a cleaner and greener Gurgaon. We identify with this cause closely as Rapid Metro strives to provide affordable, convenient and environment-friendly means of public transport.”


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