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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bengaluru: Private company buses allowed to use priority lane on Outer Ring Road

DULT Commissioner V Manjula said, “In the discussion held regarding the traffic movement plan on ORR during Metro construction, it was agreed by all the stakeholders that the company buses should be allowed on the BPL.”

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 1, 2021 8:10:32 pm
Bengaluru, Private buses, Bengaluru Buses, DULT, Outer Ring Road, Bengaluru metro, Indian express, Indian express news, current affairs, Bengaluru newsPrivate buses deployed at Kempegowda bus stand in Bengaluru for public transport. (PTI)

After requests from the Outer Ring Road Companies Association, the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) Friday decided to allow company buses to use the Bus Priority Lane (BPL) on Outer Ring Road (ORR) during the construction of the Metro line from Central Silk Board to Lowry Junction. Currently, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and emergency vehicles are allowed to operate on the BPL.

DULT Commissioner V Manjula said, “In the discussion held regarding the traffic movement plan on ORR during Metro construction, it was agreed by all the stakeholders that the company buses should be allowed on the BPL.”

DULT said it will only allow company buses or shuttles with company names or logos visible for enabling enforcement. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Krishna Kumar Gowda, operations manager, ORRCA, said, “Given the pressure on the road infrastructure as an outcome of the upcoming Metro work, ORRCA requested DULT to consider allowing company-provided transport on the BPL and we are glad it has been accepted.”

According to ORRCA, this decision will further reduce traffic congestion on the ORR stretch. “This will save time on transit to and from work for the employees and also result in employees opting to use company-provided transport instead of personal vehicles, which in turn will reduce the number of vehicles on the road,” Gowda said.

Earlier in August, the Department of Electronics, IT & Biotechnology in Karnataka had issued an advisory to the IT companies and business parks along the ORR to extend work from home (WFH) options for their employees till the end of December 2022 to complete the planned construction work of the Metro line.

The advisory was issued by E V Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary of the Department of Electronics, IT & Biotechnology to the regional director of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).

The advisory asked the companies to encourage employees to use public transports to reduce congestion on ORR, which is infamous for its traffic snarls.

Days after this advisory after backlash from IT company employees, Reddy had issued a clarification regarding its earlier advisory and said it is only an “advisory” and not “mandatory” to be followed. The new communication issued by Reddy, said, “The advisory is issued as information about the planned construction work of Metro and is to be treated only as an advisory for the consideration of the industry.”

According to ORRCA consultant Krishna Kumar Gowda, there are nine to ten technology parks on the ORR stretch, from where 700 to 800 companies operate. Nearly 1.5 lakh persons worked in these firms before the pandemic.

The 20-km ORR stretch houses prominent offices and business parks like Manyata Embassy Tech Park, Cessna Business Park, Embassy Tech Village, RMZ Ecoworld and Prestige Tech Park house companies such as JP Morgan, ANZ, Accenture, Flipkart, Cisco, Intel, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Dell EMC and others.

BMRCL is taking up Namma Metro construction work along the ORR stretch under the phase 2A of the project with one new 18.236-km elevated line, connecting K R Puram with Central Silkboard along ORR.

The project was first announced at the Invest Karnataka Summit in February 2016 to solve the transport connectivity issues in one of the major IT corridors of Bengaluru city.

In April 2021, phase 2A was approved by the Central government’s Cabinet. The phase 2A line consists of 13 stations, including K R Puram (interchange with the under-construction Purple Line), Mahadevpura, DRDO Sports Complex, Doddanakundi, ISRO, Marathahalli, Kodibisanahalli, Kadubeesanahalli, Bellandur, Ibbalur, Agara Lake, HSR Layout and Silk Board (interchange with the upcoming Yellow Line).

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