‘If students and employees are allowed to…’: Bengaluru techies, students demand work from home, online classes amid water crisis

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The heat is on in Bengaluru, and not just because the thermometer is pushing 40 degrees Celsius! With the city facing a worsening water crisis, residents are urging companies and schools to take action. The call is clear: switch to work-from-home and online classes.

Residents are turning to social media to raise the alarm about the city’s water woes. Citizens and advocacy groups are flooding Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s mentions with a clear message: “Let’s leverage what worked before!” 

They’re urging him to mandate work-from-home for IT companies and allow schools to resume online classes. After all, if this strategy helped during the pandemic, why not use it to tackle the current water crisis? It’s a win-win for everyone – conserving precious water while giving residents a break from the scorching heat.

“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,” a group of weather enthusiasts who go by Karnataka Weather (@Bnglrweatherman) wrote on X.

“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!” commented Citizens’ Agenda for Bengaluru (@BengaluruAgenda).

Some people highlighted that enabling employees to work from home might lead to a scenario where many individuals choose to return to their hometowns. This potential shift could result in a decrease in water demand in urban areas.

A federation of residents and resident welfare associations in the Whitefield area, known as Namma Whitefield, posted on X urging the Karnataka government to enforce a mandate for work from home, particularly for the IT sector. 

The post emphasized that such a measure would enable employees to relocate to their hometowns, thereby alleviating the burden on Bengaluru. Additionally, the federation advocated for the online mandate for schools and colleges, citing its success during the COVID-19 pandemic and suggesting its efficacy during the ongoing water emergency.

“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,” it wrote on X.

Karnataka is anticipated to experience above-normal temperatures during the upcoming summer months of March to May, as indicated by the Meteorological department. The forecast suggests the possibility of heatwave conditions in the north interior regions of the state. Unfortunately, for the parched capital, Bengaluru, weather reports do not indicate any immediate relief from the prevailing dry and hot conditions.

“We are not having any cloudy weather and therefore, the temperature is rising but there is probability of normal rainfall as well,” A Prasad, Scientist, India Meteorological Department (IMD), told news agency PTI.

“No rainfall happened in February. And it is mainly because of this El Nino condition that this time we had an early summer-like situation. Though the summer begins in March, its effect is being felt from February itself for the last few years. It’s also because of global warming,” he said.

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