IT cos in B'luru urged to give 15 lakh WFH option

As Bengaluru grapples with a water crisis that has hit daily lives of many residents, some netizens have been urging the IT industry and the government to give Work From Home facility. They argue that if WFH is given on a temporary basis, it will help depopulate India’s Silicon Valley and help tide over the water crisis. According to Karnataka government, Bengaluru is facing a shortage of about 500 million litres of water per day (MLD) against the requirement of 2,600 MLDs.

Now, many legal luminaries and water experts have also been suggesting the Karnataka government to encourage WFH measures till the city tides over the water crisis. Speaking at a recent event, Justice K Sreedhar Rao, former acting chief justice of the high courts of Karnataka and Assam, proposed a short-term solution of implementing work-from-home policies, particularly for the approximately 15 lakh IT workers in Bengaluru. Justice Rao reasoned that allowing work-from-home arrangements for a year could result in around 10 lakh people could result in around 10 lakh people returning to their hometowns, thereby alleviating some pressure on Bengaluru’s resources.

Justice Rao remarked that in the 1980s, the city’s population was between 25 to 30 lakh, whereas now it has surged to over 1.5 crore. Even as the state of Karnataka faces three years of drought 2003-04, the impact wasn’t felt as severely due to the lower population density at that time. He also suggested measures like desilting of lakes.

Many netizens also agree with Justice Rao’s suggestions. “Work from home (WFH) is the way to go at the onset. This will contribute actively towards water conservation. People would shift back to their hometowns, reducing the pressure on Bengaluru,” said an user.

Another user said: “IT companies has to give WFH to migrant employees to go to their native place and do the remote job till summer ends. This will help Bengaluru people to survive.”

Also read: How a Bengaluru family with 350-plant garden is effortlessly beating the water crisis

Some netizens said that WFH measures, like during the pandemic, should be actively considered. “During Covid-19 employees and their families where supported the company by Work From Home (WFH).Now time of these companies to allow them Home From Office,” said an user.

Bengaluru has been facing a water crisis due to deficient rains which have dried up many borewells. HSM Prakash, a retired deputy director-general from the Geological Survey of India, cautioned that there would be insufficient rainfall during the 2024 monsoon season as well. He predicted that 2024 would experience a shortfall in monsoon precipitation. Furthermore, he also warned that the combined impact of the deficient monsoon in 2023 and the anticipated deficit in 2024 would likely manifest in 2025.

Another social media urged IT companies to declare e WFH for all. “Half of the workforce will go back to native , the scarcity will reduce to large extent,” he said.

According to Karnataka government, nearly half of 14,000 borewells in Bengaluru have dried up. The city gets about 1,470 MLD of water from Cauvery river. The Karnataka government is optimistic that the completion of phase 5 of the Cauvery project by June could ease the water crisis in Bengaluru to a large extent.

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