BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government on Monday declared an early summer vacation for schools as the blistering conditions prevailing across the State showed no sign of a let-up while the predictions for next one week are not encouraging either.
The classes, which had been suspended till April 26 due to the gruelling heat wave, will now reopen after Raja festival in middle of June.
Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra said, the schools will conduct extra classes to compensate 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. on Monday, it recorded 46 degree C.
Mohapatra said the Government could consider advancing the re-opening of the schools if south west monsoon sets 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 99 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 `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.
While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said any change in the weather is unlikely till May 2, private forecaster Skymet also echoed the same views.
“The severe heat wave conditions will continue for rest of April. We do not expect any relief at least for next one week,” it said.
The Skymet report stated that a trough extended from Assam to interiors of Odisha but in absence of adequate moisture, thunder shower activities are expected only over coastal parts and adjoining areas. However, these thundershowers will not be strong enough to bring any significant relief and temperatures will remain high.
There was no forecast of any significant weather system forming over North Bay of Bengal during the last part of the month. With no anti-cyclone forming over coastal Odisha, moisture flow from Bay of Bengal is unlikely, it added.