The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has directed the State/UT Governments in the National Capital Region (NCR) to implement measures under the “Very Poor” and “Severe Category” of the Graded Response Action Plan (GARP) from 15th October, which includes banning usage of Diesel Generator sets for reasons that are not specifically exempted. This ban has serious implications for the IT-BPM industry.
The industry is exports led and serves companies across the globe. There are tight contractual obligations to be adhered to and the industry works on a 24*7*365 basis. Failing to meet the deadlines would have serious consequences for the industry, including penalty and loss of reputation and business.
The nature of these operations demand continuous power supply and disruption for even one minute would cause disruption in operations of the institutions they serve. However, the power supply is not continuous, and companies face power outage. Also, there are few companies awaiting grid connectivity, after having completed all necessary procedures.
Therefore, companies have created the required infrastructure to meet their power requirement and power from Diesel Generator sets is absolutely necessary to keep these systems, up and running, when the grid power is not available. Though the DG sets are not used for long hours every day, they are a critical part of the system from a continuity point of view. To cover exigencies, as to avoid even a minute of no-power situation, the option using DG sets needs to be kept open.
Critical nature of the services offered
The work done by IT-BPM companies are critical for their clients, both domestic as well as international, which includes defence forces, hospitals, banks, transport service providers, etc to provide uninterrupted services to their customers.
Backend operations of many global banks and insurance companies are managed by companies in Gurugram. Disruption of operations in Gurugram would result in disruption of services of these banks and insurance companies. For example, many ATMs in Japan would stop working if the backend management that is being run from Gurugram is disrupted.
Work From Home
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, over 90% of the employees of the IT-BPM industry are currently working from home. Given the overall pandemic situation, this scenario is likely to continue for few more months.
Most employees who are working from home reside in the NCR, and any disruption in power supply in residential areas too can impact the operations of IT-BPM companies and lower their productivity. Many residential societies in NCR, do depend on power from Diesel Generator sets for various reasons including lack of grid connectivity. In this context, there is need to ensure that the current arrangement of power supply is not disturbed till an alternative system is in place.
IT-BPM, a Green industry
The IT-BPM sector is a near zero emission industry and generally holds itself to a high standard of environmental practices and is conscious of its compliance with regulatory requirements. Many premises have zero water discharge, use LED lights to reduce energy consumption, harvest rainwater, mounted solar panels on their roof and ferry employees using CNG cabs. Most companies are certified by leading Statutory Bodies & Global Certification as under.
- LEED Certification
Under USGBC & IGBC codes
- ISO14001 : 2015
EHS : Environment Health & Safety
- OSHAS 18001 : 2007
Occupational Health & Safety Management System
India, and NCR in particular, has built its reputation as a preferred global offshore destination because of high quality of services delivered by the companies in the IT-BPM sector. Over a period, many global companies have transferred Extremely Critical work to India in many business arenas, indicating their faith on the entities that operate from here. While we understand the significance of these measures to address pollution, it is important to recognize the fact that disruption of operations due to inconsistent energy supply shall attract global attention and severely impact India’s global image as a reliable global offshore destination and may lead to flight of business to other countries.
Considering the above, we have made the following requests to the relevant State Governments of NCR.
- Exclude IT-BPM from the ban to the extent that the diesel generators are used only as a backup where the regular electricity supply fails.
- There are a few IT-BPM companies which are providing mission critical functions and depend upon the diesel generators as the main source of power. In such cases, they be treated as essential services and excluded from the ban.
- Exclude residential colonies from the ban, to ensure employees working from home do not face power outage.