Business Standard

Bengaluru navigates latest crisis

Tech firms embrace innovative water conservati­on measures, residents make do with less


From installing water-saving aerators on taps to using cans for washing hands and dishes, Bengaluru is adopting diverse strategies to tide over the water crisis.

While several citizens have taken to social media to urge Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramai­ah to make work from home mandatory for the informatio­n technology (IT) companies, it appears that hybrid mode will continue to be the norm for most — although with new water conservati­on measures in place.

Co-working space provider Urban Vault has, for instance, installed smart water meters to detect leakage. “If there is one, we address it immediatel­y,” said Amal Mishra, its co-founder.

The company is also providing water efficiency education and training to its soft service employees to raise awareness about the importance of water conservati­on.

At Happiest Minds Technologi­es, where 60 per cent of its Bengalurub­ased staff works four days a week from its facilities in Madivala and Electronic City, water needs are met through Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) supply, rainwater-recharged borewells, and tankers. “We have been fortunate to have experience­d no disruption of these sources,” said Venkatrama­n Narayanan, managing director and chief financial officer, Happiest Minds.

Happiest Minds’ facilities at Bengaluru are “zero discharge” certified, recycling all water and utilising rainwater harvesting, he added.

Rain, though, has been evasive, forcing offices and residences to cap water consumptio­n.

Convention­al offices typically consume 35-40 litres of water per person per day. Indiqube, a shared office space provider, claims to have brought that down to 15-17 litres.

It has achieved this through rainwater harvesting, sewage and water treatment plants, and by deploying water-efficient fixtures. “We are also using CDI (capacitive deionisati­on) technology for water purificati­on at our properties where the wastage is almost 80 per cent lower compared to a typical RO,” said Rishi Das, cofounder, Indiqube.

There are reasons Bengaluru’s brand as the Silicon Valley of India is taking a hit. Depleting groundwate­r and Cauvery levels have caused the latest crisis, which has escalated water tanker prices, forcing the Karnataka government to intervene.

Multiprong­ed challenges

Over the years, the idyllic city of lakes and gardens has become a case study of what rampant and haphazard developmen­t can do. Several lakes have dried up or turned toxic. Gardens have given way to concrete structures, and the traffic is a mess.

The multiprong­ed challenges, including water shortage, poor infrastruc­ture and the recent bomb blast, have unsettled its residents.

Apurva Jataan, who lives at United Elysium in Whitefield, said her apartment community has enforced measures such as daily water suspension, and has urged domestic helps to minimise water usage, and adopt cans for washing hands and dishes. “I have noticed a significan­t number of water tankers arriving in our community,” said the 26-year-old.

The situation is similar at Thubarahal­li, Whitefield. “We have water suspension­s from 10 am to 12 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm,” said Indrani Chatterjee, a resident.

Exo Tom, head of the society at MJR Platina, Kudlu Gate, said after a “thorough analysis of daily and monthly water consumptio­n”, aerators have been installed on taps in washrooms to optimise consumptio­n. “This way, we will be able to save a good amount of water,” he said.

 ?? ?? Depleting groundwate­r and Cauvery levels have caused the crisis that has led to a surge in tanker prices
Depleting groundwate­r and Cauvery levels have caused the crisis that has led to a surge in tanker prices

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