Four more fall victim to scorching heat in Rajasthan, death toll now 122 this summer

The extreme heat has triggered significant shortages of electricity and water across the state, with approximately 40 districts grappling with a severe drinking water crisis.
CM Bhajanlal Sharma inspecting the water pump station at Ramniwas Bagh in Jaipur (Photo | Special arrangement)
CM Bhajanlal Sharma inspecting the water pump station at Ramniwas Bagh in Jaipur (Photo | Special arrangement)

JAIPUR: As Nautapa, the nine hottest days of the summer when the Sun enters the Rohini Nakshatra in May-June, unfolds, Rajasthan is witnessing an alarming surge in heat-related casualties. Tragically, on the fifth day of Nautapa, four more people, including a one-and-a-half-year-old girl and a sarpanch, fell victim to the relentless heat, pushing the death toll from heat-related incidents to 55 in just seven days and to 122 for the entire summer season so far.

Twenty districts in the state are under a red alert on Wednesday and Thursday due to the intense heatwave. In the past 24 hours, Churu recorded an unprecedented maximum temperature of 50.5 degrees Celsius, while other regions such as Ganganagar, Phalodi and Pilani also experienced extreme temperatures exceeding 49 degrees Celsius, a staggering 7.5 degrees Celsius above normal. Despite a slight decrease of 1 to 3 degrees observed in various districts on Wednesday, the situation remains critical. The temperatures recorded include Pilani at 48.2°C, Alwar at 47.5°C, Vanasthali at 47.2°C, Phalodi at 47.0°C, Ganganagar at 46.9°C, Bikaner at 46.2°C, Jaipur at 46.0°C, Jodhpur at 46.0°C, and Barmer at 42.2°C.

Radheshyam Sharma, the Director of the Jaipur Meteorological Center, highlighted the severe heatwave conditions but also mentioned a slight decrease in temperature in Rajasthan, with further relief expected in the coming days.

CM Bhajanlal Sharma inspecting the water pump station at Ramniwas Bagh in Jaipur (Photo | Special arrangement)
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The extreme heat has triggered significant shortages of electricity and water across the state, with approximately 40 districts grappling with a severe drinking water crisis. A report from the Central Ground Water Department has classified two-thirds of Rajasthan's blocks as drought-affected, underscoring the severity of the situation. Alarmingly, most cities are not receiving an adequate supply of drinking water, as highlighted in a report from the Water Supply Department.

In response to the crisis, both the Power Minister Hiralal Nagar and the Water Supply Minister Kanhaiyalal Chaudhary faced criticism for their controversial statements. Consequently, Chief Minister Bhajanlal Sharma has taken personal charge of overseeing the situation, as evidenced by his inspection of the pump house in Jaipur on Wednesday, where he issued directives to officials and assessed the water output.

Despite the grim circumstances, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The Meteorological Department forecasts relief from the heatwave starting June 1, with light rain expected in parts of Jaipur, Bharatpur and Bikaner divisions between May 31 and June 2, offering some respite to the beleaguered residents of the state.

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