Last week, the Karnataka government asked IT companies to extend the work from home option for employees till December 2022 to solve traffic congestion on Outer Ring Road due to the Bengaluru metro construction work.
In its letter written to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the Department of Electronics, Information Technology said, "BMRCL is starting metro construction works on Outer Ring Road (ORR) from Central Silk Board to KR Puram and the construction of the same could extend to about 1.5 to 2 years."
It noted that the ORR houses many large tech parks and IT company campuses and therefore carries a large amount of traffic throughout the day. "The ORR despite having six lanes and service roads is infamous for its perennial traffic congestion," it added.
The Karnataka government emphasised that during COVID, IT companies that are working from home (WFH) provided some relief to traffic movement on ORR. However, it pointed out that with the start of metro construction on ORR, it would be extremely difficult to manage traffic movement on the stretch, especially if the IT companies resume work from the office.
Karnataka said it has taken some measures by implementing Bus Priority Lanes (BPL) and safe cycle lanes to provide alternate options for commuters passing through ORR. However, the order caused outrage from a considerable number of IT employees.
'Only An Advisory And Not Mandatory'
The state government, however, clarified that it was only an "advisory" and not "mandatory" to be followed. On Tuesday, August 25, Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORRCA) consultant Krishna Kumar Gowda said, "We have requested the government to issue a revised advisory since many companies located on the ORR want their employees to work from office and the Metro work will only be completed in December 2025 according to BMRCL's detailed project report (DPR)."
The new communication issued by E V Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary of the Department of Electronics, IT & Biotechnology, mentioned that the advisory is "issued as an information about the planned construction work of Metro and is to be treated only as an advisory for the consideration of the industry."