90 minutes just to exit the 300-acre Manyata Tech Park: Based on past experience, that’s what the employees working there fear would happen in the days to come when civic works and construction of a five-star hotel and residential apartments in the campus, in addition to more offices being added in the campus
BENGALURU: Employees who work at Manyata Tech Park, spread over 300 acres, are a worried lot. The traffic situation within the park and outside has already been bad, and now they fear that white-topping will compound the problem. In addition, they claim the tech park is discouraging use of public transport, and is also allowing more constructions to come up within the park – adding to their existing woes.
Several techies who work there have formed a group to discuss and help address the traffic issues inside their campus. The group was formed two months ago post closure of one of the two gates that leads to Hebbal. The group filed a petition regarding their issues on November 17, 2017, and addressed it to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Traffic Police and Embassy Services, which manages the park.
The BBMP is scheduled to start work on white-topping a stretch of the Outer Ring Road near the tech park, which will go on for 45 days. Arun Sankar, an employee, said, “They will close one side of the road to traffic for 45 days, and hence all the traffic will go through the service road, which will lead to more congestion.” Another employee Krishna Ramalingam said, “The authorities should arrange for an alternative route, but until now they have not. BBMP has not responded to our petition.”
BBMP Mayor Sampath Raj said an alternative route had been identified. “Once we get confirmation from police that no traffic hazard will occur, we will proceed. The identified route goes through OMBR Layout road, and the Major Roads Department has been instructed to check if the road is motorable and does not have potholes. If it does, they will repair it,” he said.
In addition, Pradeep Lala, chief executive officer (CEO), Embassy Services, said they plan to increase the number of traffic wardens from Veerannapalya to Nagawara junction, and have requested the traffic police to increase deployment.
They plan to hold meetings with them regarding the issue. Lala added that the management had requested the park users to utilise carpooling initiatives and 75 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses plied in and out of the park daily. Follow the updates on their Facebook page and Twitter at TrafficFreeMTP.
Commuting times absurdly high
The employees at the tech park spent about an hour-and-a-half to just leave the campus. Ramalingam recounts his horror. "We were blocked from reaching home for three hours. We would spend an hour-and-a-half in the park to just get out and the next hour on the road." The same issue might arise when they block the same gate again for about 45 days during the White Topping project.
Another techie working there, Srikanth Karapanahalli, and who lives in HSR Layout, says he takes about three hours to cover 28 km distance to his office. "I don't get time to spend either in the office or with my family. I spend three hours on the road." Arun Sankar says this has increased their stress. "We have to leave work at 4.30 pm due to traffic and hence, it reduces the productivity of our companies too," he says. On an average, there are about 40,000 cars coming in and out of the park.
Another employee at the tech park Mohsin Khan says, "This is during the peak hours, from 10 am to 6 pm." They worry that the construction of a new five-star hotel and more offices in the campus will worsen the situation.
The initial Master Plan for Manyata Tech Park
The map shows the master plan of the Embassy Manyata Business Park. Gates 1, 2 and 5 are only functional. Gate 1 leads to Outer Ring Road, Gate 2 to Hebbal and Gate 5 is the back gate to the Manyata Residency leading to Racchanhalli Road. Gate 2 will be closed again during the White Topping project forcing employees to either use Gate 1 or a narrow road (Gate 6) that leads to Service Road. The other gates that are part of the Master Plan was never constructed, say the employees.