In a first, the IT corridor in Cyberabad will become “car-free” for one day of the week — it may be extended to three days if the initiative is successful.
According to the initiative, undertaken by Hyderabad Software Exports Association (HYSEA) in association with Telangana’s IT department and transport department, Thursdays will be declared “car-free” from next week.
The aim is to keep at least 50,000 cars of IT professionals off the roads. By September-October, the number is expected to increase to at least one lakh. About 3.5 lakh employees work in the IT corridor and Cyberabad area, and almost 80 per cent of them use their personal vehicles, mostly four wheelers.
On Monday, the IT department and transport commissioner of Telangana will unveil alternative transport arrangements for Thursdays, which includes special buses, “she shuttles” for women and carpooling. Besides declogging the main roads in the area, HYSEA hopes to reduce pollution also.
“Even if we manage to get 20 per cent of cars of IT professionals off the road every Thursday, it would be a great achievement. I think in the next four to six weeks, the number of cars off the road on Thursdays will grow as the initiative catches up among IT professionals who are eager to participate but are concerned about the alternative arrangements,” said Ramesh Loganathan, president of HYSEA.
“Ideally, I would like all the citizens of Hyderabad to participate in this initiative. The Telangana government will make efforts to involve everyone in the coming months,’’ said Loganathan.
Hundreds of IT professionals living in Madhapur, Gachibowli, Kukatpally, Miyapur, Madinaguda, Lingampalli, Financial District and Mehdipatnam already use carpools. The Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC) and Cyberabad traffic police have also started several initiatives to encourage IT professionals to use carpools. The Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and SCSC recently introduced free special buses for women working in the IT sector.
While Hyderabad’s air quality index measured at the single station at Sanathnagar usually shows “satisfactory” levels, RSPM rises to “unhealthy” to “moderate” levels of 128 and 109 respectively on Mondays and Tuesdays.