OM Bureau

For the first time in Orissa, executive offices are closed to avoid heat wave. Officially 55 persons have died, but unofficially the scorching sun has taken a toll of 256 human lives.

June 14 is a Tuesday in Orissa. It is a working day. But no office is working. Horrified by the unprecedented wave of deaths that exposure to the burning sun is gushing out, the State Government has order for closure of all the offices within its jurisdiction. The mercury had soared to an all time high of 46.3 the preceding day at Bhubaneswar throwing four persons into the pyre. At Talcher it was 47.1. Not a single habitat could be found in Orissa that is not burning. In the western part f the state, temperature has not declined from 45 degrees Celsius for around a month.

No body knows what shall happen if the intense heat wave does not abate. Water sources have dried up in many places. A week ago, industry minister Mr. Biswabhusan Harichandan had declared at Talcher that the state Government shall supply to every citizen drinking water in tankers to tackle the current water crisis. But little had he known that the State has no sufficient tankers to take up this challenge.

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