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Govt Issues Comprehensive Guidelines to Mitigate Impact of Heat Wave in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: As the specter of a looming heat wave threatens Odisha, the state government has issued comprehensive guidelines to safeguard the well-being of its citizens. Recognizing the crucial role of public awareness in preventing heat-related illnesses and casualties, the government has called for immediate awareness campaigns to educate people about the associated risks, preventive measures, and emergency responses.

To disseminate information effectively, the government has urged the active involvement of Civil Society Organizations in awareness campaigns. In addition to conventional communication channels, local media will be utilized to alert the public when heat wave warnings are issued.

Water scarcity, often exacerbated during heat waves, is a key concern. The government has directed district administrations to proactively identify water scarcity pockets and formulate action plans to ensure water supply through tankers to these areas. Preventive maintenance of tube wells and piped water supply systems is underway, and immediate responses to water scarcity reports are mandated.

The Water Resources Department will coordinate the release of water through canals from reservoirs based on requirements. The establishment of “Paniya Jala Seva Kendras” (Drinking Water Kiosks) at strategic locations is emphasized, with a focus on water quality and sanitation.

To protect vulnerable populations, the government has instructed the use of urban shelters, community buildings, and other public facilities as day-time shelters for homeless individuals. Adequate arrangements for safe drinking water and Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) in these shelters are mandatory.

For livestock welfare, the construction and repair of shallow vats are emphasized. The Forest & Agriculture Research and Development (F & ARD) Department will implement Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) measures to guide proper care of animals during the summer.

In educational institutions, measures include ensuring the availability of drinking water, repairing tube wells, restricting outdoor activities, and allocating time for imparting heat wave precautionary tips. Parents are encouraged to ensure their children carry water bottles to school.

Healthcare preparations involve stocking sufficient lifesaving medicines, saline, and ORS in medical facilities. Separate wards and beds will be earmarked for the treatment of heat stroke patients in hospitals.

Public transport vehicles are required to carry ample portable water and ORS for passengers and staff. The rescheduling of non-air-conditioned public transport services during peak heat hours is considered, with attention to minimizing inconvenience to long-route passengers.

Employers are urged to reschedule labor engagement timings, providing necessary amenities such as drinking water, ORS, and rest sheds at worksites. The Energy Department will ensure uninterrupted power supply during the summer, with advance notice provided for any required load-shedding.

The government is promoting awareness of cool roof technology, encouraging the white painting of roofs to reduce indoor temperatures.

Control rooms at both state and district levels will operate round the clock, monitoring heat wave warnings from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Panchayati Raj Institutions will play a crucial role in overseeing heat wave mitigation measures, and senior officers will verify necessary arrangements in key facilities.

The government’s proactive approach and comprehensive guidelines aim to minimize the impact of the impending heat wave, prioritizing public safety and well-being. The issuance of detailed instructions reflects a commitment to preparedness and swift response in the face of rising temperatures. Citizens are urged to adhere to safety protocols, stay hydrated, and take necessary precautions during the challenging weather conditions.

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