Tech companies in Chennai planning to shift to Kovai?

Four years on, the shifting still is on cards, but owing to a polar opposite reason: water scarcity.

Published: 21st June 2019 05:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2019 05:10 AM   |  A+A-

Chennai water crisis, Chennai drought

Birds rest by stagnant water in the dried up Puzhal reservoir on the outskirts of Chennai (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Remember the time when a deluge hit the State’s capital (December 2015) and the IT giants mulled shifting base to the city nestled in the lap of the verdant Western Ghats?

Four years on, the shifting still is on cards, but owing to a polar opposite reason: water scarcity. Even as Chennai faces one of the worst water crisis in recent memory, the round-the-clock IT domain is likely to activate disaster recovery (DR) mode by deploying some of its workforce to Coimbatore.

The select employees would be deployed to the respective company’s office at Coimbatore Hi-tech Information Limited (CHIL) SEZ IT Park in Saravanampatti for a few months, during which time the water issues are likely to be sorted out, Express has learnt. Vice president of CHIL SEZ IT Park R Maheswaran said, “An MNC inside the park might increase its headcount for two-three months due to the water crisis in Chennai. Nearly, 60 per cent workforce in Chennai-based companies is already working from their home due to water shortage at offices.”

“A lot of companies are preferring Coimbatore as Chennai has been at the receiving end of natural disasters. However, we cannot commit to the inference that the employee relocation is due to water scarcity in the State capital,” said Ashok Bakthavathsalam, director of CHIL SEZ IT Park.

A highly-placed official at the TIDEL Park in Coimbatore said, “Our campus has zero discharge, wherein all rainwater is harvested, such that wastewater gets recycled and the excess is stored in a sump. Unlike Chennai, Coimbatore does not have any water issues as of now.”

As many as 77 IT and ITES companies work out of the TIDEL Park in Coimbatore, where too water scarcity is conspicuous by its absence largely due to the mega green cover provided by the 5,000-odd trees on the campus.

So what clicks for Coimbatore when the rest of the State is facing an unprecedented water scarcity? The answer lies in companies coming forward, among other initiatives, to install aerated water taps to replace existing models.

Also, there is a host of rainwater harvesting schemes being executed by the firms here to augment water resources.


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