SAMBALPUR: As western Odisha reeled under the grip of a vicious, unrelenting heat wave, at least three persons have reportedly died due to sunstroke in Bargarh district in the last 24 hours.
Sources said, Grantha Pradhan, a 52-year-old resident of Sarsara village and 80-year-old Sahadeba Bariha of Gaisilet village fell victim to extreme hot conditions while the body of an unidentified person was found at the Bargarh railway station.
In neighbouring Sambalpur, heat and acute shortage of water and power cuts have made life a virtual nightmare for the people.
ALSO READ: Odisha sizzles as monsoon stays away
While the town recorded a scalding 45.6 degree Celsius on Wednesday, excessive humidity made matters only worse.
Usually, the mercury shows a dip after the Sital Sasthi festival but this year, there has been a steady rise in temperature after the annual carnival.
Busy localities of the town like Golebazar wear a deserted look as people prefer to remain indoors. Life in the town has almost come to a standstill for the last few days.
Acute shortage of water has added to the woes of the people. Residential areas like Gopalmal, Brookshil, Dhanupali and Durgapali are the worst hit due to erratic supply of water by PHED and inability to arrange alternate means to meet the residents’ needs.
The PHED officials admit that water problem will persist till the end of June. Besides water scarcity, frequent load-shedding and indifference of WESCO has angered the residents.
Residents of localities like Ainthapali, Budharaja, Jagannath Colony and Gopalmal alleged that their electrical appliances were damaged due to voltage fluctuation.
However, the only good news amid the despair that prevails in the town is that the district administration has managed to keep the number of sunstroke cases in the town under control.
The plight of other towns in the district is equally alarming.