With the mercury rising steadily across Odisha, the State Government has asked the districts to prepare detailed action plans to tackle heatwave.
Even as Bhubaneswar and Malkangiri recorded 37 degree Celsius and 18 stations of the State reported 34-plus on the day, Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra directed Collectors to put in place measures to counter heatwave and water scarcity.
At a stock-taking meeting of district emergency officers, Mohapatra called for commencement of preventive maintenance of tube-wells, advance identification of areas facing water scarcity and to ensure water-supply through tankers. Reports of alleged sunstroke death by joint inquiry and payment to the bereaved families have to be expedited through timely submission.
The District-level Natural Calamity Committees must be convened to review the status of heatwave preparedness and the Collectors have been asked review the preparedness. The preparatory action has to be completed by March 15.
It was also decided that districts would take special measures to make panchayati raj representatives aware of their roles to deal with starvation situations. Similarly, their power to provide food assistance up to 10 days in deserving cases will also be highlighted. The emergency officers were advised to be meticulous in tracking starvation cases while submitting MIS reports.
Mohapatra directed the officers to take prompt steps for sanction and payment of ex gratia to the bereaved families in case of deaths due to natural calamities. The districts have been asked to submit final reports on all pending cases by March 31.
Similarly, investigation for ex gratia assistance in case of deaths caused by lightning, fire and flood must be expedited by March 15 and requisition for allotment of funds must be sent by March 20. All the pending cases for payment of agriculture input subsidy and other assistance should be cleared immediately.
Instances where beneficiaries are absent or not turning up, steps must be taken to issue a public notice by fixing a date for the beneficiaries to receive the assistance after which the balance funds will be refunded to the SRC.