Heatwave: Hopes of respite in East; blistering heat to continue in North and Central India

Workers use their helmets to pour water to cool themselves off near a construction site on a hot summer day on the outskirts of Ahmedabad (Reuters)
NEW DELHI: Northwest and central India recorded average maximum temperatures of 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius in April, the highest since keeping records began 122 years ago.
On the last day of the month, the highest maximum temperature of 46.6 degrees Celsius was recorded at Chandrapur in Maharashtra as heat wave conditions prevailed over some parts of Delhi; in isolated pockets over Gurugram, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh; heat wave conditions prevailed in many parts of west Rajasthan, in some parts of Punjab and Vidarbha; in isolated pockets over Haryana, interior Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and north Madhya Pradesh.
More than a billion people are at risk of heat-related impacts in the region, scientists have warned, linking the early onset of an intense summer to climate change.
May will bring in a mixed bag- continued heat for northwest, west and central India and normal to above normal rainfall over most parts of India.
Power crisis amid a scorching summer
Several states have been reeling from power outages due to the coal crisis in the country. Delhi, Punjab and other states are facing acute power outages as their thermal power plants are reeling under coal deficiency or hitting a snag due to increase in load capacity.
Coal India Limited has reported an increase of 27.2 per cent in its output in April 2022, as compared to the year-ago period, the Ministry of Coal said.
Union Power Minister R.K. Singh reviewed the power situation and the coal stock situation at thermal plants, including those that supply power to Delhi’s discoms, and told media persons after the review meeting that the power discoms would get as much power as they have requisitioned.
Centre on Saturday gave instructions to the power plants supplying power to Delhi’s discoms to ensure uninterrupted supply to the national capital in view of the unprecedented demand owing to the massive heat wave.
Uttar Pradesh government, under the supervision of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will ensure 24-hour power supply in district headquarters. Similarly, villages will be provided power for 15-hour,” state minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary said.
The Odisha government on Saturday claimed that there was no coal scarcity in any of its power generating stations .
Odisha modifies school timings
Odisha on Saturday announced its decision to reschedule the timing of teaching hours in all schools.
The new timing will be from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and will come into effect from May 2.
“Government after careful consideration has been pleased to reschedule the timing of teaching hours in all schools from 6.00 a.m to 9.00 a.m from May 2. However, the examination already scheduled by different Boards/Councils will continue as usual,” the notification read.
Earlier on April 26, the government announced the closure of all schools, colleges, universities and Anganwadi centres for five days in the state.
In the days ahead
Isolated places in West Bengal, Sikkim, Jharkhand, several north-eastern states and coastal Andhra Pradesh could also experience thunderstorms or light rain, IMD’s short-term forecast says.
However there is not much good news for west Rajasthan, south Uttar Pradesh, Tekangana, Madhya Pradesh and the Vdarbha region of Maharashtra. Moderate to severe heatwave conditions are likely to prevail over these regions.
Some respite could be in store for the northwest plains after May 1 because of a fresh Western Disturbance that could bring rainfall over the Western Himalayan Region. Light rain with gusty winds are likely in parts of Delhi-NCR on Sunday according to IMD.
(With agency inputs)