Maharashtra: Traffic congestion continues on Day II even as fewer employees report to work

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By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: June 10, 2020 2:31:07 am

With fewer taxis and autos on road, offices across the city, too, have asked essential employees and those owning vehicles to report to work. (Representational)

Heavy traffic congestion was witnessed in parts of the city Tuesday, the second day after offices were allowed to operate with a maximum of 10 per cent of their workforce under the Phase 3 of the Maharashtra government’s ‘Mission Begin Again’.

The Western and Eastern Express Highways, Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) and LBS Road, traffic police said, saw heavy vehicular traffic, especially during the peak hours. Senior Inspector Vikhroli traffic division, Kundalik Kaygude, said there was marked rise in the number of private cars and two-wheelers entering from Thane between 8.30 am and 10.30 am, and just as many vehicles moving in the opposite direction in the evening. With no suburban trains, the BEST buses also witnessed a heavy rush of office-goers on Tuesday.

Roads at business district Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), however, remained largely empty on the day. “Not all offices have opened, and even at those which are operational, very few employees are reporting to work. Since the BEST is also operating a limited number of buses, we have not observed unusual traffic congestion,” said Inspector Sunil Yadav of the BKC traffic division. Prior to the lockdown, roads outside Bandra railway station (East) used to be packed throughout the day with autorickshaws and buses ferrying people to offices in BKC.

Kishor Shinde, an assistant manager at a housekeeping company, who had spent eight hours commuting Monday from Nallasopara to Sion and back, said he shelved the idea of travelling to work Tuesday. On Monday, Shinde had stood in a queue for more than an hour a to board a state transport bus to Borivali railway station, before boarding a BEST bus to Sion. He reached his workplace at 10.30 am, four hours after he had left home.

“Only two to three people in my department had reported to work on Monday. I collected whatever documents I needed and by the time I left office at 4.30 pm, I told my colleagues that I would not be coming on office Tuesday,” he said, adding that it took him another four hours to reach home.

With fewer taxis and autos on road, offices across the city, too, have asked essential employees and those owning vehicles to report to work.

Leading entertainment company Eros International Media Ltd allowed some of its critical, key personnel come in to work with the majority of its workforce of nearly 400 people working from home. Its Mumbai office opened Monday after thorough sanitisation and deep cleaning, and continues to operate with stringent, uncompromising guidelines around social distancing and hygiene, said Aditi Rupesh, general manager, Human Resources.

“We understand that the crisis remains and are being vigilant and careful” said Rupesh. She added that despite the limitations of the lockdown, the firm had completed a merger and continues to produce and provide content online.

At accounting firm KPMG, employee turnout was fewer compared to its office in Bengaluru. Arjun Vaidyanathan, chief operating officer, KPMG India, said policies were already in place for employees to avoid unnecessary commute by working from home or at locations where their clients are based. Rosters have also been set up so that only employees whose physical presence is required to visit the office in a phased manner.

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