The Jharkhand government has issued through its public relation department a heat wave advisory for all the 24 districts on Tuesday with almost all the districts of the state witnessing heat wave conditions.
“The advisory has been issued by the Union government and has been disseminated to the state and district level officers through the public relation department,” said state disaster management secretary Amitabh Kaushal.
The advisory seeks the state governments to update and customise their heat action plans as per National Disaster Management Act (NDMA) guidelines 2019.
“The heat wave action plan of the state may be circulated to all collectors and heads of departments of concerned line departments with instructions for its implementations.
Parents and a child enjoy cold drinks in Jamshedpur on Tuesday. Bhola Prasad
“State must appoint a nodal officer at each level (state, district and block levels) for communicating early warning and coordinating the heat action plan,” the advisory states.
It also asks states to review and monitor the heat wave situations through video conferencing with concerned line departments/districts/blocks and also to put up display boards with colour coding indicating heat wave alert at different locations.
“Widely publicise dos and don’ts and publish information and awareness materials in regional languages and warning must be disseminated by using SMSes, WhatsApp etc, keep stock of ORS packets at health centres and anganwadis,” the advisory states.
It also asks for school timing to be rescheduled to avoid peak heat (midday) and suggests for school to start early and close before noon.
Incidentally, in Jharkhand government schools function between 6am and 12 noon.
The advisory also asks states for large scale setting up of drinking water kiosks at public places, setting up special shelters for MGNREGA and construction workers and rescheduling their working hours and advises for undertaking local thresholds assessment in partnership with expert institutions.
College students take protection from intense summer heat at Jamshedpur on Tuesday. Bhola Prasad
It also asks the state to direct district level officials for undertaking necessary steps to prevent heat-related deaths, hold regular interaction with media on the risks and dangers of heat-related illness and activate ‘cooling centres’ such as temples, public buildings, malls etc and urge NGOs, community groups and individuals to open drinking water, butter milk kiosks at public places during heat wave conditions.
Lastly it asks the state government to urge power companies to prioritise maintaining power supply to critical facilities such as hospitals and health centres.
Energy department officials in Jharkhand said that against the electricity demand of 2550 megawatt on Sunday, Jharkhand got a supply of 2200-2250 MW. So, there was a gap of 300 to 350 MW between demand and supply leading to power cuts.
Significantly, almost all the 24 districts of the state witnessed over 40 degrees temperature on Tuesday.
“The dry and hot winds from the west and northwest parts of the country are increasing the temperature of Jharkhand.
“The maximum temperature is likely to shoot up by two to four degrees Celsius during the next two-three days,” said in-charge of Ranchi meteorological centre Abhishek Anand.