Lack of parking space is a huge issue at Technopark
Even as Technopark expands and expands the main campus appears to be bursting in its seams, especially when it comes to parking spaces. As just about any techie who works there – and many visitors who have found themselves driving around in circles looking for a space to park – will tell you, the biggest issue in India’s greenest IT park is the lack of parking bays. According to official Technopark figures, some 7,000 vehicles have parking permits, while countless others drive into campus on a daily basis, with numbers increasing every day. This means that on any given working day, especially during the 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift when most companies function, there will be close to 3,000 cars and a couple of thousand more bikes parked on campus.
“If you come in by 8.30 a.m. then it’s easy to find a space. As the hour progresses the space crunch begins. You can’t even dream of finding a place by the time it’s 10 a.m. And this continues till at least 4 p.m.” says Rajesh Rajamohanan Nair, who works for a MNC in Bhavani building. Adds a chief executive officer, who does not wish to be named: “I have to shuttle between Nila and several other buildings on a daily basis. I usually don’t take my car for the same, because each time I’d waste half my time finding a spot to park my car. It’s much less stressful if I walk or hire an auto.” In fact, parking has become such a problem that many techies nowadays are opting not to drive to work. Says Shalini L., who works for IBS: “I’m a new driver and I heard enough of horror stories of finding a parking space and then the scratches and dents that come with squeezing into any available space, not to bring my car to work.”
Currently, all the main buildings, save for Nila, have at least one level of underground parking (which costs up to Rs. 1,000 per month). “But the problem is that each level will have space for only about 200 cars; a significant portion of these spaces will be reserved by particular companies or for the top brass. In a building like Bhavani or Gayathri where thousands of people work, it is thus inadequate [Tejaswini, meanwhile, has five levels underground],” says techie Vivek R.
The open lots surrounding Nila (two of which are now reserved for paid parking), small spaces near the back gate of Leela Info Park, the road to the guest house, and a recently cleared area across the road from the M-Squared building are the other main ‘parking areas’. “Technically, there are no designated parking areas. There aren’t even signboards to mark these areas as such. More importantly, there is no special parking lot for two-wheelers. Most people park on both sides of the by-roads near buildings – usually in a way that it doesn’t obstruct traffic,” adds Vivek, who works the night shift in a BPO firm. Ask around, though, and you’ll get many tales of people not being able to access their cars because of haphazard parking, some even having to leave their cars overnight.
Often, the parking areas are open to the elements and quite a long way away from most buildings. “Besides, some parking lots haven’t been metalled and when it rains we have often to trudge through mud,” says a techie, who usually parks at Nila and walks uphill to Tejaswini.
M. Vasudevan, senior manager, business development, at Technopark says: “We know it’s a huge issue and we are constantly working on finding solutions. We have already identified certain areas as parking areas and introduced paid parking facilities. Multi-level car-parking is a potential solution, but we have found that it would be too expensive for people.”
(Some names have been changed on request)