OMR Traffic Congestion an everyday menace

Traffic jams from  ELCOT SEZ in Sholinganallur becomes pathetic and many IT companies approached ELCOT officials to open rear side gate for movement of vehicles.  ELCOT officials agree to the corporate request for the benefit of employees and agree to open rear side for movement of vehicles only for exit. This gate is opened from  23rd Sep and now people travelling to OMR from  ELCOT can take this route. This will reduce traffic by nearly

40%  and congestion will be reduced drastically. This is welcome move from  ELCOT officials and NDLF thank corporates for helping in the implementation of this move.

But we did not know  the answer for the below queries:

1)   Why this gate is closed before? Ford  and Tech Mahindra offices are located within 2 km range from  Karapakkam within 5 minute timeframe but employees have to cross Sholinganallur signal, cross the toll near Mohammad Sadak college. Cross HCL SEZ Signal and then reach office travelling nearly 10 KMS wasting 30 minutes in traffic for several years.

2)   Why IT companies did not raise this issue prior? Sholinganallur SEZ is opened 10 year before and all corporate companies acted prompt in extension of 10 years for getting tax rebate but why they did not speak for employees travelling additional 10 kms for several years.

3)   Why ELCOT agree to open gate only for EXIT?  Employees who  are travelling to office from  Karapakkam still need to travel this 10 KMs in their morning trip? Why don’t ELCOT open the gate both  ways

4)   Why IT employees did not raise this issue? Did they take any action on this issue?

What is the inference we are seeing with IT employee mentality

We will go back to the history of this OMR toll roads. The construction of OMR road started early 2005 to connect Chennai city with Sholinganallur. This road as every one know  starts near Madhya Kailash in Adayar and ends near Navalliur. The stretch of this road is nearly 30Kms.  Toll plaza is installed near Duraipakkam, near Chennai one office, ECR, Medawakkam and near Siruseri. It is estimated as on current date nearly 40000 – 4 wheelers are using this road daily. The toll rate for car is 27 for single trip and 54 for two way. The approximate calculation of toll amount ranges 10 lakh per day and 36 crore per year.


This toll is operational for 14 years now  and good amount of toll is collected using this roads. ELCOT SEZ is expanding day by day and many new companies are putting up their office space like CTS, FORD etc and many existing companies are also expanding their office space considerably. The entrance for ELCOT SEZ exists in one side from  Karapakkam and other side on Sholinganallur near Sadak college. ELCOT group laid beautiful roads connecting Karapakkam and Sholinganallur entrance and if employees are allowed to enter through Karapakkam entrance, lot of time and money is saved.

But the biggest challenge is there are difficulties to lay toll plaza from  Karapakkam. So if ELCOT open rear side gate, people living in Duraipakkam, Karapakkam, Sholinganallur, Navalur will start using this gate.  They will skip toll which result in loss to the toll income. So we foresee that as the main reason for this road to be closed so long. To make employees pay the toll amount, ELCOT made employees travel this additional 10 kms, make them to wait for 30 minutes minimum to cross this 2 kms stretch and spend atleast 1 litre petrol that cost 75 to cover up this distance only to pay this Rs 27 toll amount to the roadways department.

As more and more companies are opened now,  traffic is becoming peak now.  It takes minimum 30 minutes for employees to come out of ELCOT SEZ itself nowadays after FORD opened their office in the peak time. Travel time for employees extended by minimum 45 minutes. This started affecting the productivity of employees as they started spending lot of time in traffic. That is one of the important reason for corporate companies to take up the issue to ELCOT officials

It is good atleast now  corporate companies take this issue now  after 10 years. They should not stop in getting permission only for exit but put pressure to open the gate for entry also.

OMR toll exists for 15 years now  and this is not a new road constucted. This road is extended and toll company definitely earn multifold than the construction cost in last 15 years. Sholinganallur is also part of city now  and quality of the road is the same as any roads in city now.   So collecting tolls in this road is to exploite IT employees as government also thinking IT employees earns a lot and we will collect money from  them. So corporates should not stop in initiating the opening of entry gate but they should take measure to close the toll roads in future if possible. This issue will be heard in giovernment ears only when corporates take their actions for their employee.

Finally we will address what steps IT employee has taken to resolve this issue. The unfortunate fate is IT employee will not even talk when he got terminated and how  we expect them to talk for traffic issues. They daily gossip the issues on heavy traffic in their tea times and travel long trips to their work.  So this openning of rear gate is big relief for them and they are thanking corporates for initiating this help for them. We are sorry as we are also part of IT group but unfortunately that is the reality of IT employees in addressing issues even that affect them


— Shyam Sundar

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