Bengaluru water crisis: Calls for work from home, online classes until monsoon grow louder

Amid the severe water crisis in Bengaluru, residents are pushing for online work and education to save water.

Written By Arshdeep kaur
First Published10 Mar 2024
People stand in a queue with water cans to get drinking water at Jnana Jyothi Nagar, in Bengaluru
People stand in a queue with water cans to get drinking water at Jnana Jyothi Nagar, in Bengaluru(PTI)

As the water crisis in Bengaluru worsens, the residents of Silicon Valley have been calling for switching to an online model, similar to that in Covid-19, till monsoon. Bangaloreans, already struggling with water shortage and high temperature, have urge companies to adopt remote work and educational institutes to continue virtual learning, to conserve water and ease the pressure on employees and students.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has received several requests via social media to make work from home mandatory for IT companies in the Silicon Valley. The CM was also requested to allow schools to function online. Residents of Bengaluru, and different resident groups have said that if the online work model worked during Covid-19, it will work during water crisis too.

"It's high time," said Bengaluru Weather Man (@Bnglrweatherman) on X (formerly Twitter) tagging Siddaramaiah. "With sizzling hot days and severe water crisis prevailing in Bengaluru city and no major rains in sight as of now for the month, it's high time that government of Karnataka considers work from home option till the monsoon begins," the group of weather enthusiasts in the city wrote.

Highlighting that the work from home mandate will allow several residents to move back to their native towns, Bangaloreans on social media said that it will help in reducing the demand for water in the city.

"Water crisis - online classes and work from home? If students and employees are allowed to work from home, many will go back to their hometowns, reducing pressure on city!" Citizens' Agenda for Bengaluru (@BengaluruAgenda) wrote.

While Amit Chaudhury (@mrGlassHfEmpty) said, "I believe it is imperative that the government suggest work from home for all companies which can or have been doing it in the Covid era. This will lighten the load on the city. People can go back to their hometowns while the government can plan better."

Tagging the Congress-led Karnataka government, a federation of residents and resident welfare associations in the Whitefield area, Namma Whitefield, wrote, "Please mandate work from home, especially for IT sector. It will allow employees to return to their hometowns and reduce the burden on Bengaluru! Please mandate online for schools and colleges. It worked during Covid, it will work during water emergency."

Karnataka, especially its capital, is facing one of the worst water crises in recent years due to poor rainfall in 2023. The Indian Meteorology Department has attributed the scanty rains to El Nino effect.

According to IMD scientist A Prasad, there was an El Nino effect last year, which is moderate this year too but is likely to decline. Its effect was evident as summer set in the third and fourth week of February, which otherwise happens only in March in Bengaluru, he explained.

With the summer expected to be more severe this year, some 7,082 villages across Karnataka and 1,193 wards, including in Bengaluru Urban district, are vulnerable to drinking water-crisis in the coming months as per an assessment made by the state government as of February 10.

Civic authorities in Bengaluru have decided to fill the drying lakes with 1,300 million litres per day of treated water to replenish groundwater sources in the city, where about 50 per cent of the borewells have dried up.

A Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) official said the situation is grim because the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam in Mandya district from where Cauvery water is supplied to Bengaluru does not have adequate water due to summer.

(With inputs from agencies)

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