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Violence in major Indian outsourcing city results in global business continuity headaches

The Indian city of Bengaluru (Bangalore) is the capital of Karnataka state and has been at the forefront of violence connected to a long-running water supply dispute with neighbouring Tamil Nadu. While this ongoing incident is causing major problems for local businesses, it also has global ramifications as Bengaluru is one of India’s main outsourcing cities with services provided to countries around the world.

The dispute has its roots in a water supply agreement made in 1892. This has been the source of regular disagreements between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states. The latest episode in the dispute started when a Supreme Court order directed the Karnataka government to release 15000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. Violence erupted in protest against the decision and a curfew was imposed as a result.

According to the Hindu Business Line Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, SAP Labs, GE’s JWFTC, IBM and NTT DATA were forced to temporarilyclose their facilities in Bengaluru and Flipkart, Amazon, VMware and Akamai Technologies also said that their operations were affected.

Business continuity responses which have been reported include making
arrangements for employees to work from home remotely and switching Bengaluru operations to alternative locations outside the impacted area.

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