Delhi heatwave: LG Saxena directs 3-hour paid break from noon, asks officials to ramps up measures

The directions will be implemented across all construction sites, including those of government agencies and private establishments, officials said.
A small bout of rain hits the Kartavya Path amid a harrowing heatwave on May 29, 2024, in New Delhi.
A small bout of rain hits the Kartavya Path amid a harrowing heatwave on May 29, 2024, in New Delhi.Photo | EPS, Shekhar Yadav

NEW DELHI: As the temperature in the city breached the record on Wednesday, reporting an all-time high of 52.9 degrees, L-G VK Saxena directed officials to ensure a paid break for labourers from noon to 3 pm, water and coconut water at construction sites, and water pitchers at bus stands to brace the heat wave.

The directions will be implemented across all construction sites, including those of government agencies and private establishments, officials said.

Saxena directed that the three-hour break has been implemented by the Delhi Development Authority since May 20 and will continue across all sites till temperatures come down below 40 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the L-G also slammed CM Arvind Kejriwal-led government for not implementing a heat action plan in the national capital despite the unusual severity of the heat wave, flagging it as a “lack of sensitivity” and “seriousness” on the part of Kejriwal.

In a letter sent to Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by the principal secretary to the L-G, it was said Delhi is facing an unprecedented heat wave, with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees Celsius in some parts for the first time in the city’s history.

“Ordinarily, he had expected that the CM or the minister concerned would convene a meeting for a heat action plan in the city. The lack of sensitivity and seriousness in dealing with the heat wave is a matter of grave concern for him,” it read.

It also mentioned that the L-G instructed the DDA to make adequate arrangements for providing water and coconut water to labourers at construction sites; however, no such provision was made.

The letter also asked the chief secretary to call a meeting of officers from the Public Works Department, Delhi Jal Board, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council, Power Department, and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and issue necessary directions for protecting labourers and supervisory staff from extreme heat conditions.

Responding to the letter, Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed the L-G office is defaming the government and asserted that it had been preparing for the heat wave since March.

“The first advisory was issued on March 8, with subsequent advisories to various departments and a review meeting on May 27,” he said.

A small bout of rain hits the Kartavya Path amid a harrowing heatwave on May 29, 2024, in New Delhi.
Delhi Heat action plan: Change shift of staff, no work in direct exposure to sun

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