Theweekendleader

Corporates step in to mitigate Gurgaon's water scarcity

Shudip Talukdar   |  Gurgaon

24-May-2013

Gurgaon, which boasts of some of the most imposing skyscrapers housing offices and residential blocks, faces acute water scarcity, besides being choked by eight to 16 hours of power outages. Now several Gurgaon-based companies are stepping in to conserve water in their premises.

The Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS), working under the ministry of water resources, has installed 36 waterless toilets for its 400-plus team. If the team works 240 days a year and the average daily use of urinals is five times for each employee, then WAPCOS ends up saving 480 cublic metres or 480,000 litres of water annually.

The Gurgaon-based Teleperformance, the Indian subsidiary of the world's largest contract centre firm headquartered in the US, is also doing its bit to propagate the use of sustainable pactices under its 'Citizens Of The Planet' initiative.

Team Teleperformance set up a rainwater harvesting unit in 2001, comprising two wells in its compound, which collect over 1.4 million litres of water annually. IncidentalIy, these wells cost Rs.500,000 and require no maintenance.

This small initiative, if replicated by every other corporate office in the city, will not only address water scarcity but also take care of its water logging problem, Sanjay Mehta, managing director of Teleperformance, told IANS.

"If 2,000 companies take to harvesting rainwater before the next monsoon arrives, water issues in Gurgaon will be looked after for a year," said Mehta.

"That way we could plough back into the mother earth over 24,000 million litres of water annually, which equals a year's water consumption in the city," he added.

Teleperformance, with a presence in 46 countries, employs 138,000 people worldwide, including 5,000 in India.

The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) board had recently warned that water table was going down at an alarming pace in Gurgoan, by four feet annually, even though a ban on ground water extraction has been in force since 2000.

Fearing severe consequences, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also banned commercial use of ground water, especially in construction, in Gurgaon in 2012.

The CGWA has strongly recommended mandatory harvesting of rainwater to raise ground water levels. It also suggested that licensing authorities should conduct spot inspections to ensure their implementation.- IANS