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Companies along Chennai’s IT corridor ratchet up measures to reduce water consumption amid severe shortage

File photo courtesy: Pixabay Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Jun 13, 2019, 09.38 PM (IST) Sidharth MP

As Chennai reels under the searing heat, the water crisis that is getting worse by the day is only making the impact more severe. Now, large IT parks and office complexes that house several thousands of employees are forced to take measures to bring down water consumption to a bare minimum.

Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), otherwise known as Rajiv Gandhi Salai, is Chennai’s IT capital with hundreds of large IT parks and tech firms dotting the stretch. Lakhs of employees contributing to information technology and information technology-enabled service sector work in this line.

But with the capability to house more and more employees in workspaces comes the requirement of copious amounts of water supply for keeping the air-conditioning plants and other facilities round-the-clock.

IT firms are exploring and implementing a range of measures to help tide over the current crisis. They include using disposable plates in the cafeteria, procuring packaged drinking water, closure of non-critical washrooms and toilets, restricted availability of water in wash basins among others. 

Some firms are shifting to Air cooled chillers from water cooled chillers, closing down the gym and arena in order to reduce water consumption by the cooling plant.

Speaking to WION, Sowmya, an employee with a firm in Sholinganallur said, “recycled water is being used for flushing toilets and watering the plants, additional equipment has been installed in every tap to restrict the water flow and all restrooms are fitted with these”. 

Besides these measures, the company has also been sending weekly awareness emails informing about the current crisis and providing conservation tips, she added.

“Wash basins where we wash our utensils after lunch in the cafeteria have been closed, only the hand wash is open and that too with a restricted flow” Krupa Ranjani an employee working in ELCOT SEZ told WION.

Rahul Pareek who works for a firm in Kandanchavady said, “the new floor that was inaugurated at our premises uses automatic taps. Even on existing taps, the water flow has been decreased to ensure judicious use”.

Though Chennai has endured and overcome the peak summer heat all-though May, there seems to be no let up in the temperature in June with mercury hovering around 41 C. With wells, reservoirs and water sources in the vicinity of the city drying up, options are running out and all that the city can do is to hope for rains.

Story highlights

With the capability to house more and more employees in workspaces comes the requirement of copious amounts of water supply for keeping the air-conditioning plants and other facilities round-the-clock.