Flexi working hours to ease traffic jams
Huge private sector support for Govt plan:
The private sector will support the Government’s decision to
introduce flexible working hours as a solution to ease traffic
congestion in the city.
Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Samantha Ranatunga said the
proposal will have huge support from the private sector. “We are not
going to find a solution overnight for urban congestion; we need to take
an initiative soon,” he said.
The introduction of flexible and staggered working hours is one of
the main proposals of a joint Cabinet Memorandum on the implementation
of the comprehensive transport management plan in the Western Region
Megapolis which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers recently.
According to the Cabinet paper, “flexible working hours should be
introduced in public and private sector institutions to spread the peak
load of the traffic flow.
This will help the reduction of traffic volume and congestion during
peak times by shifting the drivers’ commute to less congested hours and
spreading the peak period.”
Ranatunga who is also the Managing Director/CEO of CIC Holdings said
the entire private sector is willing to take this discussion forward and
bring out workable, practical solution to the traffic issue. “It has to
be a concerted effort,” he said in an interview with the Business
Observer. “It is a productivity killer, which has been taken for
granted. The members of the Chamber have been talking about the issue
for a long time now It affects our productivity quite seriously and the
time one wastes in traffic is someone else’s time as well,” he said.
Transport planners say whether you live in a city, a suburb or a rural
area, travelling is one of the biggest issues in Sri Lanka. Plans made
in isolation are to be blamed for road traffic and other transport
There are negative effects of unplanned, disintegrated development
projects as transport had never been a part of these development plans.
Since there is no efficient public transport system, there are too many
private vehicles on the streets, creating traffic congestion and making
it difficult to manage transportation.
“On the other hand people have come to a situation, where they don’t
mind wasting time and fuel. Our highly costly habits are basically
eating a lot into the margins.
“But ultimately the customer will have to pay to cover all these
costs,” Ranatunge said.
He added that many countries have tried out staggered working hours
It was reported that nearly 5.5 million vehicles cross the Colombo
Municipal Council boundary over 15 gateways (Bridges). Average speed of
travel within Colombo city is now only 12 km per hour and 17 km just