Tech Giants Google and Walmart Request Bengaluru Employees to Work Remotely Amidst Water Dispute Uproar
Google, Walmart, and other firms urge Bengaluru employees to work from home due to water dispute protests. The conflict escalates between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Protests over a prolonged river water sharing conflict between two southern Indian states have prompted major corporations, including Walmart and Google, to instruct their Bengaluru-based staff to work from home on Tuesday.
In response to demands from farmers and activists in Bengaluru, often referred to as India's Silicon Valley, for state authorities to refrain from releasing additional water from the Cauvery river to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, multinational firms like Google, Walmart, IBM, and Accenture have issued internal memos advising employees to work remotely and avoid non-essential travel during the strike on Tuesday.
The dispute over water access has been a longstanding source of tension between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, spanning over a century. In 2016, deadly riots erupted in Bengaluru when the top court mandated the release of some water to Tamil Nadu.
On Monday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that his government would not impede the protests but stressed the importance of maintaining peace.
Bengaluru is home to over 3,500 tech companies and approximately 79 "tech parks" - upscale facilities that accommodate offices and recreational spaces for tech professionals.
After pandemic-related closures, many companies have either called their employees back to the office or adopted a hybrid work model. Additionally, some private schools have transitioned to online classes for Tuesday.