Bhubaneswar, April 1: The heat is on. While the municipal corporation has begun setting up temporary water distribution kiosks or jal chatras across the city, the Nandankanan authorities are taking extra measures to keep its animals cool.
Ten jal chatras were set up across the city today. By tomorrow, 36 more such kiosks will come up. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has planned to have at least 100 such kiosks in the near future.
The civic body has also decided to start supplying drinking water by tankers to city areas that do not have access to pipe water. These areas include Sundarpada, Bhimatangi, Dumduma, Pahala, Baragada and Patrapada.
The decision on the water supply and jal chatras was taken at a meeting last evening where members of several social welfare organisations, local clubs, market associations and resident welfare associations were present.
Additional commissioner Krushna Prasad Pati said: “We have asked the social service organisation to distribute drinking water.”
Pokhariput resident Poonam Parida said: “The temporary water kiosks get ready by April 1 every year. But this year, the election process seems to have delayed the process.”
Civic officials admitted that with a majority of their employees engaged in the poll duty, there is lack of co-ordination to supervise the day-to-day affairs.
Though the maximum temperature today and yesterday was 40.5°C, Bhubaneswar had recorded one of the highest temperatures in the month on March 30. This was only the fourth time the city recorded 42°C in March since the inception of the centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) here in 1952. As per IMD data in the past on March 18, 2004, March 30, 1991, and March 25, 1989, the city recorded 42°C.
Increasing temperature and humid conditions have forced the authorities of Nandankanan zoo to adopt special measures to keep the animals cool.
These measures include change in diet, uninterrupted water supply and anti-depressant medicines for the animals to regulate their body temperature. While the amount of meat served to lions and tigers have been decreased, herbivorous animals such as deer and sambars are being served watermelons and green coconut water. The water bodies inside the enclosures of carnivorous animals such as tigers have been provided with 24x7 water supply so that the temperature of water inside the pool does not rise. The animals are also provided with ice blocks to lick for controlling the body temperature.
“Animals also get affected by heat. So, we need to take special care for them in summer,” said assistant director of the zoo Kamal Lochan Purohit.