Hyderabad: Sensing that this summer could turn out to be tough, with reports on the adverse impact of the rising temperatures already coming in, the State government has swung into action, drawing up a summer action plan and setting up teams to verify reports of heatwave deaths.
Officials attached to the Disaster Management wing of the Revenue Department said 37 deaths across the State were being attributed to sunstrokes since April 1. However, with no confirmation on whether these deaths were actually due to the heat, teams are being set up at the mandal level itself up to investigate the cause of death in each of the 37 cases.
If the team, which will comprise the Tahsildhar concerned apart from the local SI of Police and Civil Surgeon, confirms that the death was due to sunstroke, the government will extend compensation to the bereaved family under the ‘Apathbandhu’ Scheme, a senior official said.
This apart, the department has prepared a summer action plan as well. The plan aims at identifying vulnerable people and health risks, developing effective strategies and ensuring coordination among departments. The departments that will implement the plan include Revenue, Health, Animal Husbandry and the Information and Public Relations Department among others.
Chief Secretary S.P. Singh, who has already conducted two meetings with officials from over 15 departments, has asked the District Collectors to address the situation on a priority.
Normally, heatwave conditions are declared when the maximum temperature recorded is five degrees above the normal maximum temperature. However, the department has decided not to wait for an official declaration of heatwave conditions and has already made plans for relief works in motion. Instructions have been issued to officials to prepare district-specific plans as the temperature in some districts might go beyond 45 degrees Celsius, while in other areas, it could be around 40 degrees.
People To Be Educated
The official said focus would be on educating people about the ill-effects of rising temperatures and on taking up relief measures such as supply of drinking water, setting up shelter zones and stocking medicines and oral dehydration salts. The Animal Husbandry Department would ensure supply of fodder and water to animals.
“The relief works will be taken up under the calamity relief fund or funds from the Panchayat Raj Department,” the official added.