Karnataka Govt To IT Companies On ORR: Extend Work From Home Till Dec 2022, Cut Traffic For Metro Sake


The department of electronics, IT, BT and science and technology has sent a letter advising IT companies and parks located along Outer Ring Road (ORR) to extend work from home (WFH) to most of their employees up to December 2022 so as to better manage traffic in the wake of Metro work expected to start soon.
The letter has been sent to industry body Nasscom, which is expected to circulate the same to IT firms located on ORR in Bengaluru.

Pointing out that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) is starting Metro construction on ORR from Central Silk Board to KR Puram, additional chief secretary EV Ramana Reddy has said in the letter that the same could extend to 1.5 to 2 years.

Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) commissioner V Manjula said: “We will revise the advisory as we understand that it may be inadvertently perceived that we are suggesting that they work from home. The idea wasn’t that. It was to suggest they encourage employees to use various transport options like buses or cycle-towork that are available.”

“We wrote to Nasscom on the request of DULT and this is only an advisory. The companies are not mandated to do it and will be free to resume work from offices if that is necessary,” Reddy told TOI.

Companies’ forum waiting for revised govt statement:
KS Viswanathan, VP of industry initiative at Nasscom, said, “It is information on impending work and the need for employees working on that stretch to use public transport as much as possible. The government is supportive of industry requirements.”
Companies like SAP, Walmart, Intel and Accenture said they had no comments to offer. Cisco, which is also on Outer Ring Road, said it started a permanent workfrom-home policy and the decision would not have much of an impact on them.
Less than 5% of the company’s 12,000 employees work from the office in ORR, according to people familiar with the matter.
Krishna Kumar, operations manager, ORRCA (Outer Ring Road Companies Association), said: “ORRCA’s understanding is that the government is going to issue a revised statement following questions they have received on the advisory. We are waiting for the revised statement and will react to that.”

The Outer Ring Road is the most prominent office cluster in the city consisting of business parks such as Manyata Embassy Tech Park, Cessna Business Park, Embassy Tech Village, RMZ Ecoworld and Prestige Tech Park, housing companies such as Flipkart, JP Morgan, ANZ, Cisco, Intel, IBM, Accenture, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Samsung, and Dell EMC.
“IT companies working from home in the pandemic situation provided some relief to traffic movement. However, with the starting of Metro construction, it would be extremely difficult to manage traffic on ORR, especially if IT companies resume work from offices… It would be greatly beneficial if IT companies on ORR extend the WFH option for most of their employees till December 2022,” the government letter reads.

The companies have been advised to stagger working hours for those employees working physically at the office, and encourage such staffers to use buses (BMTC or company provided) which can use the bus priority lanes on ORR.

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