About how techies in Bengaluru beat traffic blues

BENGALURU: The first thing techie Rohan Pereira does on waking up every morning is check Google Maps on his phone. That’s because this KR Puram resident wants to have a rough estimate of the time it’ll take for him to reach his office in Bellandur.

“Every time I see those red lines on the map, my heart sinks, but again my day revolves around them. I have formed a WhatsApp group with colleagues who stay in the same area just for traffic updates,” says Rohan, who cannot recollect a day in the last two years when he had driven to office peacefully .

“It easily takes me 2 hours to cover a distance of 16 kilometre.We try to carpool as much as possible but the roads are still packed,” he adds. To ensure the journey is less strenuous, Rohan has bought several CDs of his favourite music bands.

Techies living in and around Bellandur, KR Puram, Sarjapur, Marathahalli and Whitefield are tired of being stranded in traffic every day. Thanks to Google Maps, which provides real-time updates, at least they can look up alternative routes to avoid traffic zones or step out only after the clogs are cleared.

Daina Emmanuel, who commutes between Bellandur and Whitefield every day , takes about an hour to cover the distance on good days, but on bad days, the journey even drags to three hours.

“And this is just one way. It takes me half an hour to cover a distance of 1.5 km within Whitefield, after crossing the Graphite India signal. It’s a pain and a lot of productive time is lost every day,” she says.

To ensure she doesn’t loose her cool, Daina listens to meditative audio books while at the wheel. “We have a group where I post what time I’m leaving for work and there’s always somebody along,” she says.

On weekends, Daina doesn’t step out of her house and she prefers ordering everything online. Manoj CM likes to call himself a `traffic worker’. The techie, who resides in HSR Layout and has to travel 18 km to get to work in Whitefield, says, “I start making calls in the cab itself and type away on my laptop. It’s the only way to get done with work early and leave office.”

Travel to work though is quite eventful for him. “Every time I carpool, the conversation with other passengers begins with how terrible the traffic is. And we become friends for life,” says the 28-year-old.

JP Nagar resident Tania M, who works in ITPL and travels by BMTC buses, is considering shifting closer to office. “I take at least two hours to reach office and I have been suffering from terrible back ache. The bus rides are a killer. But I am scared to ride all the way from JP Nagar every day. I stay in a gated community and everything is close by and convenient, except my office,” says the 24-year-old. “What’s the point, if I am not productive at work and lose precious time stuck in endless traffic with incessant honking?” she wonders.
Times view

Commuters on Bengaluru roads are finding new ways to keep their cool, for they know no one really cares about their traffic woes. While some are tapping technology to find less-congested routes, others are plugging into music to soothe their nerves. But what are the civic agencies doing?

 Why is it that things as basic as roads and traffic are left unattended?

Bengaluru‘s crippling traffic isn’t just killing productivity of its professionals, but also painting a pathetic picture of a city that wants to draw investors. Poor infrastructure will soon become this city’s biggest bane. It’s high time authorities put the pedal to the metal.

Credits Times of India

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