States told to take steps to tackle heatwave, wildfires

While North and central India has been under the grip of record temperatures, Himalayan states such as Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have reported raging forest fires.
States told to take steps to tackle heatwave, wildfires

NEW DELHI: The Central government on Thursday directed state governments to ramp up preparedness to deal with heatwaves and forest fires.

Chairing a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee to review preparedness, Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba urged chief secretaries to monitor measures to deal with heat waves.

While North and central India has been under the grip of record temperatures, Himalayan states such as Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have reported raging forest fires.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change made detailed presentations on heatwave and forest fires and mentioned steps being taken to deal with them.

The India Meteorological Department informed that 10-22 above normal heat wave days were observed in different parts of the country between April and June. May has recorded 125% increase compared to the normal number of heatwave days. The Met department said above-normal heatwave days are likely over most areas of northwest India and neighbouring areas of north-central India in June.

The NDMA said advisories have been issued to states to activate control rooms, enforce standard operating procedures to deal with heatwave, ensure availability of drinking water, health facilities and power supply.

The environment ministry outlined the action plan to deal with the wildfires.

Centre’s assurance

Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba assured the states and Union Territories that the Central ministries and departments will closely engage with them for optimum preparedness and implemen-tation of timely mitigation and response measures. He stressed the need to be better prepared to meet challenges.

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