Mumbai News

Mumbai: Many plan to stay over in offices to avoid gruelling 4-hour road travel – Times of India

MUMBAI: For Mulund’s Subhash Yadav, spending four hours daily to commute to his workplace by an autorickshaw and then two BEST buses was a “nightmarish” experience. On many days, he lost half a day’s pay due to late attendance and was exhausted by the time he reached his south Mumbai office. The return journey home at night was equally painful.
Now, he has decided to stay put in his office from Monday to Friday and visit his family only on weekends.
There are others like him who plan to pack bags and shift to office for a few days in a week just to avoid the gruelling road journey.
“With Mission Begin Again, 30% attendance is allowed in most private offices and a few insist their employees —especially from the administration, security, IT or maintenance departments—remain present at work,” said Karan Mukherjee, who works in a public relations firm at Lower Parel. “In the absence of local trains, which only allows essential staff to travel, the other office-goers are going through a harrowing time,” he said, recalling his own experience of travelling in a crowded bus from Goregaon for work.
Bhandup’s K N Nayak has to travel to Colaba where he works in a retail firm. “It is a pain waiting for the bus which takes you till Amar Mahal and then to switch to another bus to Sion and thereafter waiting for a third bus to Colaba. The wait at the bus stop is frustrating, especially if it is raining,” he recounted, adding there were several like him, both men and women, who wait for up to an hour for a BEST bus. Besides, there are traffic snarls, especially on Mondays, which delays them further.
Smita Mahadevan, who works in the accounts department of a private firm in Dadar, said some of the buses are packed and do not follow Covid norms. “So, apart from the delay in reaching office, we are scared of travelling daily,” she said.
For Yadav, staying in office for five days and avoiding bus travel is not a “complete relief ” though.
“I miss my wife and one-year-old child who are back home and waiting for me till the weekend. Also, most of my time during Saturday and Sunday is spent in buying provisions, baby food and making other arrangements so that my wife does not have to leave home for the next five days,’‘ he said. Yadav has made the office his home, has got a bag full of clothes, personal items and eats the simple food the canteen serves.
A few colleges have staffers who have to report to work daily and they come from distances as far as 50-60 km from workplace. Staffers of some of the private banks are inconvenienced too. Commuters told TOI the frustration of travelling to office by public road transport will never cease unless local trains are made available to everyone.