BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government on Monday declared summer vacation for the schools as the blistering conditions prevailing across the State showed no signs of a let up.
The classes which had been suspended till April 26 due to the gruelling heat wave conditions will now reopen after Raja Festival in middle of June.
Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra said, the schools will conduct extra classes to compensate for the loss of academic hours and complete the syllabus.
The State Government had first suspended the classes on April 11 till 20. Again on April 19, the suspension was extended till April 26 as the intense heat wave conditions did not abate. Currently, there is no prediction for the conditions to relent. Titlagarh, a town in Western Odisha, on Sunday recorded a staggering 48.5 degree Celsius, highest in the country.
Mohapatra said, the Government could consider advancing the re-opening of the schools if south west monsoon onsets in the State earlier than usual. The normal date for monsoon onset in Odisha is June 10.
The early summer vacations, however, do not apply to the colleges and higher education institutions.
So far, four sun stroke deaths have been confirmed in the State though as many as 88 death reports have been received.
Last year, the death toll was 69 whereas in 2014 and 2013, the numbers stood at 40 and 16 respectively.
The State Government, which has declared sunstroke as a State-specific disaster, provides an ex gratia of Rs 50,000 to the kin of the victims.
Talking to mediapersons, the SRC urged that precautions necessary to avoid sunstroke must be adopted by the people.
The water scarcity and supply situation in the State, he said, has improved although in many places, tube wells are rendered dry as ground water table is dropping. The situation is being monitored by SRC office with help from Urban Development and Panchayati Raj departments, he said.