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Siege of Delhi: Call centre cabs won't ply during CWG
September 01, 2010

Siege of Delhi: Call centre cabs won't ply during CWG


1 September 2010

Rakesh Ranjan, New Delhi:

There’s more trouble brewing for the residents of Delhi during Commonwealth Games. Following the latest brainwave, the traffic police has decided to restrain call centre cabs from entering the city. All BPO managements across NCR have been asked to suspend plying of their vehicles in Delhi during the Games and encourage their employees to use the Metro.

The authorities’ line of thinking seems to be that with the Central Secretariat-Gurgaon Metro corridor likely to open this weekend, the Capital will have direct connectivity to Gurgaon, where the majority of BPOs are located. Noida call centres are already connected to Delhi via the Metro. The plan will keep 4,000 vehicles off the city each day of the Games.

This move follows Delhi Police seeking closure of the lower courts, markets, malls and educational institutes during the Games. While the markets will remain closed only on the opening and closing ceremony days, the police want six district courts closed for the entire period. The Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court will remain closed from October 9 till Dussehra. Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, which will host the hockey matches, is in close proximity of the Supreme Court, High Court and the Patiala House Courts.

“Keeping in view frequent complaints of rash and negligent driving by call centre cabs, we have asked all BPOs in the NCR to keep their vehicles off Delhi during the Games,” said Ajay Chadha, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic), after meeting BPO representatives on Tuesday. The representatives were told to encourage the use of Metro by their employees and asked to facilitate the staff’s commute from Gurgaon Metro stations to offices.

“This will further reduce the vehicular population on Delhi’s roads as well as help the BPOs reduce transportation expenses,” Chadha said.

The operators were also told to install the Global Positioning System in their vehicles. Notably, 1,676 cabs have been prosecuted (153 drivers arrested and 796 vehicles impounded) till August for various violations this year.

According to Chadha, the cab operators have been strictly directed to keep their vehicles away from the dedicated lanes.

“They have also been told to avoid using two-lane stretches like Sardar Patel Marg, Kamal Ataturk Marg, Safdarjung Road and Lodhi Road,” the traffic police chief said. Notably, half the total space on these roads will be reserved for athletes.

The BPO managements, on the other hand, have requested the traffic police to inform them of the Games schedule in advance so that their cab drivers avoid using the affected routes. Also, they want to ply their vehicles during nights since there is no Metro service after 11 pm. “We are ready to lend all support to the traffic police,” said Deepak Ohlyan, president of the Business Process Industry Association of India (BPIAI).