Karnataka govt clarifies on ‘Work From Home advisory’ for IT professionals

Bengaluru:¬†After Techies and IT Professionals expressed their concern and questioned the government’s decision of advising IT companies located on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) to extend ‘Work from Home’ option till next December due to Namma Metro work on the stretch, the government has said the earlier communication was just an advisory.

E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Electronics, IT, BT & Science and Technology had issued an advisory to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) on August 21. It was requested to the IT companies operating in the surrounding areas of Outer Ring Road (ORR) to extend the Work From Home (WFH) period till December next year.

The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is commencing work on ORR from Central Silk Board to KR Puram soon. It could take at least 2 years for completion of work. ORR houses many large tech parks and IT companies, campuses and this stretch carries a large vehicular movement. If IT companies resume work, the vehicular congestion becomes more, the advisory noted.

However, the request from the government did not go well with IT professionals. They have tagged IT Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan with the newspaper clippings and questioned why 18 months lockdown period was not utilised to take up Namma Metro work.

Ramana Reddy addressed another letter to the Regional Director of National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) stating that the earlier communication was just an advisory.

“The communication was issued as information about the planned construction work and is to be treated only as an advisory for the consideration of the industry. Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is focusing on completing the Namma Metro project on time with minimum inconvenience to employees, who want to commute for work or companies that are planning to return to work during the construction phase,” the letter said.

The IT professionals have questioned that they wanted to return to work as it was almost one-and-a-half-years since they attended work. The Covid rate is going down in the state, even high schools are open. The BMRCL must have utilised the lockdown period of the last 18 months when the road was deserted for construction work, they said.

After the protest the government backed off from the proposal and assured completion of Namma Metro work in the stipulated time.

As many as 1.5 lakh IT professionals work in about 800 companies located on Outer Ring Road (ORR) stretch in Bengaluru.