Districts on alert with the advent of summer

Bhubaneswar: With the mercury soaring in the state capital, the state government on Thursday alerted all districts and directed authorities to take appropriate steps to help people cope with any possible heat wave situation.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik issued direction to the district authorities and all the departments to ensure that the people do not suffer in the gruelling summer.

"Instructions have been issued to all 30 district collectors to take all possible steps for mitigating the effects of heat wave," Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro said after attending a high-level meeting chaired by Patnaik.

Health, rural development, energy and other departments had been asked to take adequate measures to protect the people from the heat wave conditions, he said adding that the school timings across the state would be during the morning hours from April 1.

"The energy department had been told to ensure that the people get uninterrupted power during the summer," Patro said.

Meanwhile, sources said, the revenue and disaster department had also proposed to enhance the amount of ex-gratia to the families of any heat wave victim from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

On Sunday, the maximum day temperature went past 40 degrees for the first time this season in Bhubaneswar.