September 28, 2020

Heat action plan

Patna: The state government has prepared an action plan after 4,620 heatstroke deaths were reported in the state between 2013 and 2016.

The plan has been jointly prepared by the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA), Disaster Management Department, India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Unicef Bihar.

“We hope to send the plan to chief minister Nitish Kumar within a week and it is expected that he will launch before a cruel summer sets in,” Banku Bihari, disaster risk reduction officer of Unicef Bihar, said on the sidelines of a workshop on the plan in Patna on Tuesday.

He said the heat action plan will be on the lines of the one in place in Ahmedabad since 2013. “The state government’s departments have to play a role in curbing heatstroke incidents,” he said.

Sources said heatstroke claimed 4,462 lives in Ahmedabad in 2010, after which the city readied a heat in 2013.

BSDMA member Udaykant Mishra said the Bihar plan will have guidelines for the education department to make schoolchildren aware about precautionary steps to shield themselves from heatstroke, repair non-functioning hand pumps/water-supply system in schools, and take steps to reschedule school timings.

“The rural development department has to plant trees and execute schemes to recharge water, besides constructing sheds for MNREGA workers,” Mishra said. “The minor irrigation department has to deepen the pynes, which can help birds and animals drink water. Tube well faults have to be corrected by the department on a priority basis while health department has to stock all drugs for heatstroke treatment.”

City-based physician Diwakar Tejashwi lauded the state’s decision, pointing out how heat affects the body in various ways.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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