Odisha to prepare action plan to combat heat wave

Bhubaneswar: With the Indian Meteorological Department predicting intense heat wave during summer this year, with probability of temperature rising by 1 degree above the average, the Odisha government on Tuesday asked all departments to prepare a heat wave action plan to deal with the situation.

Chairing a high level meeting on preparedness in view of the impending grueling summer, Chief Secretary AP Padhi has directed all the departments to expedite awareness programmes and stay fully prepared to combat the probable heat situation.

Secretaries of all departments, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and other senior officials deliberated on various issues mainly awareness on heat wave, early warning, drinking water facilities and healthcare services.

After reviewing the preparedness, Padhi directed collectors to conduct regular meetings on disaster management at the district level and ensure 24-hour healthcare services for sunstroke patients at hospitals.

School authorities and anganwadis have been asked to take morning classes from 6.30 AM to 10 AM and keep adequate amount of drinking water, ORS and first aid. The School and Mass Education Department has already issued a directive in this regard and it will be implemented from April 1.

Padhi also directed the departments to issue advisories to stop labourers from working during noon. He has also asked the electricity department to regulate power supply in view of the heat.

SRC Bishnupada Sethi said that Odisha has been able to combat intense summers in an efficient manner after 1998 when the state witnessed the worst heat wave condition which claimed as many as 2,042 lives.

Meanwhile, temperatures continue to rise at several places across the state with Bhubaneswar and Talcher recording 39.2 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the hottest in the state. Similarly, as mercury slowly inches towards forties, other parts like Malkangiri and Titlagarh both recorded 39 degrees Celsius followed by Sonepur at 38.8 and Angul at 38.7 degrees Celsius.