Not moving out of Hinjewadi, say IT companies despite traffic congestion
Presently, there are 165 firms which have their base across three phases at the Hinjewadi IT Park. Over 1.5 lakh commuters, working in various companies, travel daily to the IT Park. As many as 11 new firms are interested in setting up their campuses at the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park (RGIP), according to Maharashtra industrial development corporation (MIDC)pune Updated: Sep 04, 2018 14:53 IST
Even though the Hinjewadi IT Park faces traffic snarls on an everyday basis and commuting is a nightmare for Information Technology (IT) professionals, as many as 11 new firms are interested in setting up their campuses at the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park (RGIP), according to Maharashtra industrial development corporation (MIDC).
Presently, there are 165 firms which have their base across three phases at the Hinjewadi IT Park. Over 1.5 lakh commuters, working in various companies, travel daily to the IT Park. Over the past few months though, commuters have expressed anguish as they suffer daily due to acute traffic congestion and poor road infrastructure in the area.
In fact, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule has been raising the issue of traffic congestion at Hinjewadi since a long time and a day after the visit of Sule, on Monday Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner RK Padmanabhan visited Hinjewadi and inspected the traffic situation at Shivaji chowk.
Padmanabhan instructed traffic police officials on how to handle chaos during peak hours and also interacted with IT engineers and discussed problems faced by them. He also introduced a one-way rule for the Hinjewadi traffic to be implemented from Tuesday for a trial run.
Despite all odds, Hinjewadi IT Park has been one of the most preferred locations for various firms as the land here is cheap and government has offered other sops to the firms too.
Nilesh Modhave, chief engineer, MIDC Hinjewadi, said, “As many as 11 new companies are ready to start their campuses in phase 3. Despite the traffic problem, these companies have shown interest in RGIP.”According to MIDC officials, Hikal Limited, Blue Feather Info Pri Ltd, Smita Mahila Audyogik Sahakari Sanstha, Marquardt India Pvt Ltd, Synergy Infotech Park, I-Gate, M cure, Risk Technology and IBPL were the firms which showed interest to set up their units in Phase 3 of RGIP.
Charanjit Bhogal, chief operating officer of Hinjewadi industries association (HIA), said, “Our association has 90 member companies and no company has applied for leaving the association despite problems.” He was reacting to reports about some IT companies wanting to move out of the IT Park. According to MIDC officials, cheap land rates (₹320/square feet) and tax benefits under SEZ projects being offered by government are main attractions for companies to set up their plant at Hinjewadi.
Sudhir Deshmukh, who initiated the ‘Free Up Hinjewadi Campaign’, said, “We have initiated a campaign under which you have to sign an online petition related to the traffic condition in Hinjewadi. Till now, more than 5,000 people have signed it. Soon, we are planning to approach public representatives to sort out our issues.”
Infra woes at Hinjewadi buffering timelessly
Infrastructure woes faced by thousands of commuters going to their workplace located at the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park (RGIP) at Hinjewadi has increased over the years, even though multiple authorities are working to improve the situation. In fact, according to techies working at the IT park, the situation in the last one year has worsened with the average time taken to reach offices, tripling.
To ease problems of the growing IT Park, authorities like the Maharashtra industrial development corporation (MIDC), Pune metropolitan region development authority (PMRDA) and Hinjewadi industries association (HIA) have been working together since the last few years. However, authorities are struggling to solve the traffic chaos which occurs during the peak hours.
Sudhir Deshmukh, who initiated the ‘Free Up Hinjewadi Campaign’, said, “Every IT employee has to spend almost 90 minutes daily to travel in the Hinjewadi stretch alone, which is reducing their efficiency of working. Earlier, it used to take 15 minutes.”
During the last six months, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule has conducted three meetings with various office-bearers. On Sunday, she conducted a meeting and ordered the office-bearers to sort out all the pending issues. Sule said, “Getting enough facility is a basic human right. Areas near the Information Technology (IT) parks are facing serious traffic problems. We will definitely sort out the issue by coordinating with all the departments.”
Recently, authorities in association with the public works department (PWD) completed the 10-metre widening of Nande Chande to Phase 3 stretch of four kilometres. At the same time, the minister for industries, Subhash Desai, gave the green signal to widening of the road stretch from Sus to Phase 3. PWD in association with other authorities has also proposed the widening of a 10-metre road from Pirangut to State Highway 130.
Authorities also informed that PMRDA has allocated a budget for the Baner-Balewadi-Mahalunge-Hinjewadi road and on June 11, 2018 laid the foundation stone for it. With this, a new alternate road has been planned from Mercedes Benz to Phase 3, but this too is stuck in land acquisition process.
To sort out the traffic chaos, PMRDA has come up with a 23-km Hinjewadi to Shivajinagar Metro project. For this, the PMRDA has invited financial bids from players for building the third metro line at an investment of ₹8,000 crore. The construction work on this route will start in the next six months.
In the absence of Satish Pai, chairman of HIA, Charanjit Bhogal, the chief operating officer of HIA, said,“To solve the bottleneck while entering Hinjewadi, we have proposed widening of the existing road and construction of new roads. We have completed most of the work and the remaining will be completed after the rainy season. However, the new proposed roads are stuck in the land acquisition process.”
Nilesh Modhave, chief engineer, MIDC Hinjewadi, said,“Yes, there are certain problems and we are working on it. As of now we are struggling with the land acquisition process. As far as the CCTV camera issue is concerned, we have taken a decision at the policy-level and are working on it.”
As far as the garbage problem is concerned, MIDC has initiated the tendering process of the ‘integrated solid waste management’ project under which MIDC will appoint a company which will be responsible for garbage collection and transportation.
Work of the IT industry is divided into various shifts and during the night shift, security of women employees is an issue for many companies. Hence, MIDC and HIA have proposed 56 CCTV cameras for surveillance in the IT Park. This project costing ₹8 crore is stuck due to financial issues. Both the organisations are passing the buck to each other for funding the project.
First Published: Sep 04, 2018 14:51 IST