The Odisha government on Monday declared summer vacation for schools from April 26 in view of the continuing heat wave conditions in the state, officials said.
“It has been decided to declare summer vacation for the schools and reopen them in the third week of July after analysing the heat wave conditions,” state special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra said.
The state government had earlier asked for conducting morning classes from April 2, with strict orders to keep adequate water and ensure that children were not exposed to the sun. However, as the heat wave continued unabated, it cancelled classes till April 26.
There are more than 69,000 primary and secondary schools in Odisha having over 63 lakh students.
Odisha has been reeling under consistently high temperature starting from mid-February. In the past 20 days, normal life has been thrown completely out of gear, with at least 14 urban centres crossing 40 degrees Celsius.
Mercury has soared to more than 45 degree Celsius in several centres.
Titlagarh recorded 48.5 degree Celsius (breaking its highest temperature for April after 17 years), 48 degrees Celsius and 47.5 degree Celsius on Sunday, Saturday and Friday.
The government has received reports of 88 sunstroke deaths. It has confirmed four deaths due to sunstroke and 28 due to other reasons.
Mohapatra said they were trying to expedite the inquiry of the pending deaths.