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IT hub wears deserted look, public transport hard to come by, gig workers’ earnings hit

The Telangana Secretariat Road along the Tank Bund in Hyderabad wears a deserted look on Thursday in view of the elections to the State Legislative Assembly.

The Telangana Secretariat Road along the Tank Bund in Hyderabad wears a deserted look on Thursday in view of the elections to the State Legislative Assembly.
| Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

It was a much-needed break from the hustle-bustle, dense traffic and the incessant cacophony that has come to characterise the IT hub of Hyderabad with tech companies declaring Thursday a holiday in line with the government advisory to facilitate voting by the workforce.

While the campuses of Wipro, which also lends its name to the traffic junction metres ahead, had a terse ‘Office is closed today’ board, a campus hosting offices of several new age firms nearby cited the government order (GO) in a notice pasted on the main gate and said for natives of Telangana to cast their vote November 30 has been declared a paid holiday.

Tata Consultancy Service had a message from its HR-Head saying “all TCS offices in Hyderabad will remain closed in view of Telangana State Assembly elections.”

“All of them closed the offices today… abiding by the GO in spirit,” Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) president Manisha Saboo said. Most of the companies had declared a holiday or where necessary, encouraged employees handling critical roles to work from home.

The emphasis of bodies such as HYSEA representing IT firms also was on encouraging the workforce to vote, she said. However, not all the IT employees have votes in the city. The work-from-home option that became popular during COVID pandemic and the subsequent hybrid work mode came in handy on Thursday.

A chunk of the little over 9 lakh IT employees in Telangana are attached to the IT offices in Hyderabad and its immediate neighbourhood.

A deserted IT hub coupled with most eateries and modern retail format stores remaining closed, however, translated into loss of the day’s earning for gig workers who deliver food and grocery items to customers. Only a few could be spotted moving around as localities hosting hostels and PGs such as JV Colony and neighbourhood in Gachibowli also seem to have emptied out, presumably with the occupants going to native places.

For those in essential services such as healthcare who had to report to work, public transport proved a big challenge with TSRTC operating skeletal services and share autorickshaws hard to come by till 5 p.m.

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