Odisha’s Titlagarh sees highest temperature in India
Titlagarh in Odisha’s Balangir district on Sunday sizzled with a temperature of 48.5 degree Celsisus breaking a 17 years old record for the month of April.india Updated: Apr 24, 2016 22:31 IST
Titlagarh in Odisha’s Balangir district on Sunday sizzled with a temperature of 48.5 degree Celsisus breaking a 17 years old record for the month of April even as unrelenting heat wave continued in the state with 88 persons dying of allegedly due to sunstroke.
Titlagarh, one of the summer hotspots in the country, recorded 48 degree Celsius and 47.5 degree Celsius on Saturday and Friday respectively.
It had last recorded its last highest temperature of 48.1 degree Celsius for the month on April 30 in 1999. However, the small urban centre’s all time highest temperature of 50.1 degree Celsius on June 5, 2003.
At least 14 urban centres clocked over 40 degree Celsius – eight of them over 44 degree. Sonepur and Bhawanipatna recorded 46.1 degree and 45 degree respectively.
“Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail for another two weeks, with the temperature hovering between 43 degree and 46 degree Celsius at many centres till May 3,” said SC Sahu, director of Indian Meteorological Department’s Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre.
Consistently high temperature starting from mid-February has thrown normal life out of gear in all parts of the state, with at least 14 urban centres crossing 40 degree Celsius for more than past 20 days.
State deputy special relief commissioner PR Mohapatra said the government had received reports of 88 deaths so far. “After inquiry four deaths have been confirmed as due to sunstroke while 28 others were found to be due to other reasons. Rest of the deaths is pending inquiry,” Mohapatra said.
Long spells of intense heat have dried up the water bodies and rivers in the state. The government has engaged around 1000 tankers to supply drinking water to parched rural and urban areas.
However, they have proved to be insufficient to cater to the needs of people, especially in rural areas. Out of over 1.57 lakh inhabitations in Odisha, only 10,192 are covered under rural water pipeline.
The shortage of staff at grassroots level in rural development and panchayati raj departments has aggravated the people’s sufferings. More than 1500 posts including a half of engineers are vacant in the rural development department. Officials said they failed to attend to the complaints to fix defunct tube wells due to lack of field staff.