Heatwave in India: Country faces record temperature, death toll rises amid election season | India News

Heatwave in India: Country faces record temperature, death toll rises amid election season | India News

NEW DELHI: India is currently grappling with the severe heatwave sweeping across several states, making it harder to deal with important events like s and putting pressure on essential services.
In Bihar, soaring temperatures exceeding 44 degrees Celsius have resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 19 individuals, including polling personnel and civilians.The scorching conditions have prompted medical facilities to handle numerous cases of heatstroke, underscoring the urgent need for preventive measures.
Similarly, in Odisha and Jharkhand, suspected heatstroke claimed lives and led to a surge in hospital admissions, prompting authorities to issue advisories urging residents to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities during peak daytime hours.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, the heatwave has not only burdened the populace with a water crisis but has also tested the resilience of the legal system, prompting courts to adapt protocols and seek relief measures for lawyers and litigants.

Here’s how heatwave is affecting different parts of the country-
Bihar heatwave and election
Bihar faced intense heatwave conditions during critical election days, resulting in the deaths of at least 19 people. Temperatures soared above 44 degrees Celsius in Aurangabad and Kaimur districts.
Medical facilities reported numerous cases of heatstroke, with some casualties including polling personnel and a teacher. Authorities implemented measures to provide medical assistance and urged caution during election activities.
Dr Sahil Raj, a doctor at Kaimur’s Mohania sub-divisional hospital, said that on Thursday, a total of about 40 people had come to the hospital who had been affected by heat stroke.
“Among them, two persons, including polling personnel, had come to me who died due to heat stroke. 30 to 40 people, including police personnel, are undergoing treatment. Many have been sent home after treatment, while others are undergoing treatment,” he said.
Meanwhile, three people have died in Bihar’s Arrah in Bhojpur district after suffering from an extreme heatwave in the region.
“Three people have been reported dead. One of them is a home guard who was brought to the hospital but could not be saved. In addition to this, there was a presiding officer in Jagdishpur who was on duty. He was stabilised and then referred, but he died in the hospital. Another person, Rajesh Ram, collapsed,” Bhojpur district magistrate Mahendra Kumar said.
In Bihar’s Aurangabad, the death toll due to heat wave conditions has reached 12, with more than 20 patients admitted to different hospitals across the district, officials from the Aurangabad Health Department said.
Bihar is voting in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections, with the final phase scheduled for Saturday, June 1.
‘Too much heat’ hits Delhi courts, judges asked to let lawyers ditch robes
At least three high courts have permitted lawyers to discard the robes and coats for the summer, although the Supreme Court is being urged to make it a general rule for all lawyers in the country.
Judges at one New Delhi court postponed a case this week until later in the year, complaining about a lack of air conditioning and water supply.
While India’s Supreme Court and most high courts have air conditioning, many lower courts and consumer forums depend on fans and have poor ventilation.
Three of the court’s judges issued a written order this week stating they had declined to hear a case due to high temperatures in the court room. They adjourned the case for the cooler month of November.
“There is neither air conditioner nor cooler in the court room … There is too much heat. There is no water supply even to go to the washroom to ease ourselves … In these circumstances, arguments cannot be heard,” the order said.
New Delhi recorded temperatures of around 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) for the first time this week, forcing authorities to restrict water supply, shut schools and set up heatstroke units at hospitals.
They have also deployed paramedics to polling stations for the final day of India’s massive general election on Saturday in case any voters fall ill as they queue in the heat. A 40-year-old labourer died of heat stroke on Wednesday.
Delhi’s water crisis amid heatwave
Delhi faced a severe water shortage exacerbated by the ongoing heatwave, prompting the government to seek immediate additional water from neighbouring Haryana.
Delhi government in its plea said that it is constrained to file the petition on account of the acute shortage of water being faced by the people of of Delhi, triggered by the ongoing severe heat conditions in North India, particularly in the national capital.
“Direct the Respondent no. 1 (Haryana) for immediate and continuous release of water at the Wazirabad barrage,” the plea stated.
The record-high temperatures and heatwave in Delhi, which has resulted in maximum temperature rising up to around 50 degrees Celsius at some places, have caused an extraordinary and excessive surge in demand for water in the city, it said.
As a result, the national capital is dealing with a water shortage which has led to frequent supply cuts in many parts of the NCT of Delhi, and has disrupted the daily life of the ordinary residents, added the plea.
Madhya Pradesh heatwave
Madhya Pradesh continued to grapple with a severe heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 48 degrees Celsius in certain districts. The meteorological department issued alerts, predicting light rainfall in some areas due to a western disturbance. Authorities advised residents to stay indoors and take precautions against the scorching heat.
According to the met office, Sidhi district recorded 48.2 degrees Celsius temperature and Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district stood at 47 degrees Celsius in the last 24 hours in the state.
In what could bring some respite to the residents, the regional met office also predicted a light rainfall in some parts of the state due to a western disturbance as a cyclonic circulation is formed towards Jammu.
“The maximum temperature was recorded in Sidhi, 48.2 degrees Celsius and Khajuraho recorded 47 degrees Celsius temperature in the last 24 hours in the state. The severe heatwave has also been recorded here and there are 10 more districts where a heatwave has been recorded in the last 24 hours,” said Prakash Dhole, meteorologist, at IMD Bhopal.
Besides, a western disturbance as a cyclonic circulation is formed towards Jammu, and along with that there is an upper air cyclone in Uttar Pradesh, a trough line has formed from that particular cyclonic wind which is going from Bihar to West Bengal and towards Sikkim. Due to this, IMD Bhopal has predicted that some districts of Gwalior Chambal division can see light rain and isolated rainfall can be seen in Anuppur Dindori in the next 24 hours, Dhole said.
Sunstroke deaths in Odisha
The Odisha government confirmed the deaths of five persons due to sunstroke so far, while an inquiry into 18 more casualties suspected to be linked to heat-related illness is currently underway.
According to Satyabrata Sahu, Odisha’s special relief commissioner (SRC), one death each has been confirmed in Balasore, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Sonepur, and Bolangir.
Additionally, the government has received reports of 18 suspected sunstroke deaths, 12 from Sundergarh district and six from Jharsuguda district. However, Sahu emphasised that the exact cause of these deaths will be confirmed only after post-mortem examinations.
Ashutosh Kulkarni, additional district magistrate of Sundargarh, said currently 10 heatstroke patients are receiving treatment at a private hospital in Rourkela, while 23 others are admitted to Rourkela Government Hospital, all in stable condition.
Jharsuguda chief district medical officer Jayakrushna Nayak said six unnatural death cases have been reported in the district, with ongoing post-mortem examinations to determine if they were due to heatstroke.
Jharkhand heatwave
Four persons died of sunstroke in Jharkhand today, while 1,326 others were admitted to hospital amid sweltering heat in most parts of the eastern state, officials said.
All district hospitals and other medical facilities have been asked to set aside air-conditioned rooms and empty beds for heatstroke patients, they said.
A majority of the 24 districts in Jharkhand recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, with the mercury shooting above 47 degrees Celsius in places like Daltonganj and Garhwa.
Apart from humans, the heatwave has also taken a toll on animals, especially bats.
Deaths of bats are being reported from Hazaribag, Ranchi, Garhwa and Palamu among other parts of the state, the officials said.
It is often seen that bats die during high temperatures, Dr Trivedi said, adding, that there have been reports of locals consuming dead bats in Garhwa.
(With inputs from agencies)

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