Schoolchildren beat the heat with umbrella and ice candies in Dhanbad on Saturday. (Gautam Dey)
April 21: Dhanbad deputy commissioner Sunil Burnwal today ordered schools in the coal capital to change timings in view of the extreme heat, with maximum temperatures hitting the 43°C mark in the district.
A notification directed all schools to schedule classes between 6.30am and 10.30am with effect from Monday.
Neighbouring Bokaro also recorded a maximum temperature of 43°C, but deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar ruled out any immediate changes in school timings, stating that the administration was monitoring the weather conditions and if required, would take a decision in a day or two.
Compared to the Coal Belt, the weather god was slightly more merciful on the state capital, with the maximum hovering around 37°C in Ranchi, which witnessed a humidity level of 20-35 per cent.
“Though maximum temperatures in Ranchi have been tolerable so far, the mercury in other parts of the state is soaring beyond the 40°C mark. There are chances of rain and thundershowers in the next 24 hours, which might give residents some relief,” said weather scientist A. Wadood of Birsa Agriculture University.
Ranchi district education officer M.K. Singh said they had no plans of changing school timings as of now as the situation was not as bad as in the other districts.
“However, if the temperatures rise by another three to four degrees in the coming days, we will consider rescheduling timings,” Singh said.
East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande, too, said she had not received any complaints from parents so far.
“We are keeping tabs on the situation and if need be, we will talk to the district education department and private school authorities and take a decision after Monday,” Pande said.
She added that according to state HRD department guidelines, they had already changed government school timings to 6.30am to 11.30am, with effect from April 1.
Jamshedpur sweated at 40.1°C today with the maximum temperature likely to increase by another degree tomorrow.
The weather office, however, forecast partly cloudy sky tomorrow.
The minimum temperature in Jamshedpur was 24.8°C today.