With mercury soaring high, Odisha govt issues advisory to tackle heatwave like situation

Bhubaneswar: The state government today issued an advisory to all district Collectors to take immediate steps to manage possible heatwave situations in Odisha.

The advisory comes amid rise in daytime temperatures at several places in the state in last few days.

In a letter to all district Collectors, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu asked the district administrations to take immediate steps to put in place all preparedness and precautionary measures at different levels to meet possible heatwave situations in the state.

The key points of the advisory are:

  • Public awareness is the key to check heat wave related illness and casualties. Hence, awareness campaigns may be taken up immediately to make the people aware about the risks associated with heat wave, identifying the risk, “Do’s and Don’ts” to protect the human being and livestock from the said risks. Civil Society Organisations may be widely involved in awareness campaign. On receipt of heat wave warning messages, besides other modes of communication, local media should be used to keep the public alert.
  • Water scarcity is often associated with heat wave situation which needs special attention. The district administration is required to take advance steps to identify the water scarcity pockets (village/ hamlet/ ward wise) and prepare action plan for ensuring supply of water for drinking and other uses through tanker to those areas. Reports of water scarcity are to be responded to immediately.
  • Preventive maintenance of tube wells and piped water supply systems should start immediately. Necessary arrangements may be put in place for attending to the complaints on functioning of tube wells and piped water supply systems.
  • Water Resources department will take steps to release water through canals from reservoirs depending on requirement.
  • “Paniya Jala Seva Kendras” (Drinking Water Kiosks) are required to be opened by Urban Local Bodies/ Gram Panchayats at market places, bus stands and other congregation points. Water provided in such water kiosks must be of portable quality with proper cleanliness including use of long handle dispensers. Sincere and willing Civil Society Organisations may be associated for this task. Agencies doing such work only for self publicity should be avoided.
  • The Urban shelters, community buildings and other public buildings in rural and urban areas may be used as day time shelters for homeless/ needy people for resting during day time. Separate arrangements for men and women may be made as far as possible. Safe drinking water and ORS sachets for the people may be arranged in the shelters. Panchayatiraj & DW Department and Housing & UD Department may issue detailed instructions in this regard.
  • Construction/repair of shallow vats may also be ensured for roaming livestock. F & ARD Department may take up suitable IEC measures on care of animals during summer to prevent them from heatwave.
  • In schools, colleges and other academic/ technical institutions, extra care has to be taken to ensure availability of drinking water. Wherever required, tube wells inside the school campus may be repaired to ensure uninterrupted drinking water supply. Sufficient ORS are also to be kept in schools, colleges and provided to students/ staff requiring the same. Outdoor activities have to be restricted so as the students not to be exposed to heatwave condition.
  • Most importantly, all the parents should be sensitized to ensure that their children carry water bottles while going to schools/colleges. This should be sufficiently publicized to create awareness among the parents.
  • Schools may also be advised to allocate some time during school hours to give heat wave precautionary tips to the students.
  • S & ME/HE/ Skill Dev. & Tech. Education Department may issue detailed instructions on the above points.
  • Anganwadi Centres may remain open in morning hours only. Availability of portable water in all AWCs must be checked and ensured. Sufficient ORS packets should also be available with ASHA and AWWs.
  • Sufficient lifesaving medicines, saline, ORS may be stored in dispensaries, PHCs, CHCs and Subdivision/ District Headquarters Hospitals to meet the requirement. Special arrangement may be made and separate wards/ beds be earmarked for treatment of heat stroke patients in different hospitals. The ESI Dispensaries may be directed to treat the general public.
  • All public transport vehicles must carry sufficient portable water and ORS packets to be provided to passengers/ staff requiring the same. During severe heat wave condition, timings of non-air-conditioned public transport services may have to be rescheduled avoiding their plying during peak hours of heat wave. However, while doing so, inconvenience likely to be caused to long route passengers must be kept in mind. C & T (Transport) Department may issue detailed instructions in this regard.
  • The timing for engagement of labourers/workmen at worksites may be rescheduled. No work should be executed in peak hours during heatwave period. The employers must make necessary arrangements for supply of drinking water, ORS packets and provision of rest shed at the worksite. Labour & ESI Department may issue detailed instructions in this regard.
  • The Energy Department will issue instructions to the distribution companies to maintain uninterrupted power supply during summer months. In case, load-shedding is absolutely necessary in some areas, the schedule must be announced for information of consumers sufficiently in advance.
  • Awareness raising measures may be taken up on the concept of cool roof technology i.e. white painting of roofs to reduce the indoor atmospheric temperature.
  • The control rooms at the State level and the District level shall function round the clock during the period of heatwave. The heat wave warnings issued by IMD should be tracked on regular basis and if necessary, Control Room of IMD/ State EOC may be contacted for such information.
  • Members of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the district may be sensitized and impressed upon to monitor the heatwave mitigation measures in their areas and observance of heatwave safety protocols by the people.
  • The Collector may depute senior officers to verify and ensure necessary arrangements in medical institutions, schools, colleges, anganwadi centres etc.
  • All efforts should be made to see that no human casualty occurs due to heat wave. However, if any information on casualty is received or news report published in media, it should be immediately enquired into and the veracity of such reports should be promptly reported to the SRC office.
  • Where reports regarding death of a person due to sunstroke either at work place or any other area is received, the Collector should arrange immediate joint enquiry of the case by the local Revenue Officer like Tahsildar or Additional Tahsildar (in rural areas) or any other Revenue Officer in Urban areas (authorized by concerned Sub-Collector) and the local Medical Officer (to be nominated by the CDMO/ SDMO). The joint enquiry report with countersignature of Collector should reach the SRC office within 48 hours of the reported death.
  • If it is confirmed that the death has occurred due to sunstroke, immediate steps shall be taken to process the case in DAMPS for sanction and payment of ex-gratia to the bereaved family.
  • Meeting of the District Level Committee on Natural Calamities/ District Disaster Management Authority may be convened to review the preparedness of the District Administration to manage the contingency of Heat Wave and necessary further measures be taken as per advice/ direction of the committee/ authority.


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