ROURKELA: With the mercury not budging from 45 degree plus Celsius since April 15 and no forecast of any respite due to rain or norwester for next one week, Rourkela City has turned a virtual frying landmass. As sunstroke deaths are reported almost daily from different parts of Sundargarh district, the administration has confirmed two cases.
Sources in District Emergency Office (DEO) at Sundargarh town informed that 10 reports of sunstroke-related deaths have been received so far. Of these, four deaths were due to reasons other than heat wave, the sources stated. Four other cases are under verification and two cases have been confirmed, the DEO office said, adding one Jogewar Majhi (32) of Lathikata Tehsil and Mohana Oram (39) of Bisra Tehsil had died of heat stroke on April 8 and 22 respectively.
Environment and Engineering Department of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) on Wednesday reported the maximum temperature of 45.6 degree and minimum of 31.3 degrees.
In fact, from April 15, Rourkela city has been consistently sizzling at 45 degrees or above with mercury touching 46.2 degree Celsius on April 20.
This time scorching summer set in from mid-March while last year the highest temperature of 43 degrees was recorded in April. The IMD observatory at Sundargarh town on Wednesday recorded maximum temperature of 43.5 degrees.
While the sun continues to spit fire, erratic power supply has added to the woes of the people.
Long spells of undeclared power cuts and frequent power tripping continue to heap miseries on the people. Old and weak power distribution network and increased demand are major contributors to the grim scenario.
Wesco Superintending Engineer Prashant Sahu said, there is no power cut in force. Disruptions in supply are either due to repair or maintenance works or breakdowns. Rourkela has a demand of 85 mw.
General secretary, Electricity Users’ Protection Forum, Sibaram Patra claimed that various pockets of the city is experiencing two to three hours of undeclared power cuts daily, while the rural pockets of the district are the worst hit with four to five hours of power disruptions. Wesco has failed to ensure quality service, he alleged.