If you work in a Gurgaon call centre, you could soon be heading to work in an air-conditioned Haryana Roadways bus. Yes, you heard us right. In a bid to beat traffic snarls, the state government wants to replace BPO cabs with air-conditioned buses.
Drooling at the prospect of a giant cost-cutting opportunity, the industry, we have been told, is smiling from ear to ear. That the bus service is state-run and the safety of staffers consequently would be the government’s responsibility comes as an icing on the cake for BPO honchos.
Babus in the state’s IT department claim the industry has already made a collective demand for 150-200 buses. But BPOs are likely to retain a part of the current cab service as an emergency option.
The buses, plying on point-to-point and normal routes, will offer the same service that is now being provided by BPO cab operators. The Haryana transport department is also set to launch a night bus service to Delhi and Noida — to operate between 12.00 midnight and 5.00 am — for outstation employees working on graveyard shifts.
The plan was discussed in a recent meeting between Nasscom representatives and a team of Haryana’s IT and Transport departments led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar. The state’s IT department, meanwhile, is said to be formulating a document for the transport department to be used as MoUs with IT and non-IT industry bodies.
Highlighting the negative impact of BPO cabs on city traffic, ADC Parveen Kumar said, “There are almost 8,000 cabs in the city. The BPO sector accounts for most of them. For want of regulated parking lots, drivers park their cabs wherever they find space — in residential areas and along the streets. BPO cabs have become a major cause of inconvenience for people and hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic.”
Close to 200 new buses will be introduced initially, the ADC said. The matter has been taken up with the finance commissioner and principal secretary (Transport) Samir Mathur, who has given his nod, he added.