Last week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a heat warning across Telangana after worrying temperature rises across the state. Andhra Pradesh, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Odisha and pockets of Karnataka have also been affected by the heat wave sweeping India’s peninsular region. Soaring temperatures, particularly in the Rayalaseema region, recorded mercury hitting between 46 and 48 degrees Celsius, and those numbers are expected to rise. The intense heat wave in 2015 caused over 2,000 deaths in Andhra Pradesh, and in efforts to prevent history repeating itself, the state government is invoking all emergency official machinery.
Offering buttermilk to visitors and passersby has always been a tradition in Rayalaseema, and it has now found a way into heat wave relief efforts. Under Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, the cabinet on Monday allotted Rs. 39 crore for relief measures to vulnerable sections of society, and the allocated funds will be go to the distribution of free buttermilk and ORS sachets to help fight sunstroke deaths.
Water kiosks, or Chalivendrams, have also been set up by charitable institutions and social activists for over a month now in the state’s Chittoor district. Cans of water and earthen pots of buttermilk being set up for strangers is a popular custom, as Transport department employee N. Chakrapani told The Hindu, “We have been arranging water kiosks during summer period for the benefits of pilgrims through Sri Venkata Padmavathi Charitable Trust for several years.”
[caption id=”attachment_52860” align=”aligncenter” width=”720”] This is a representational image. Source: HolidayIq[/caption]
An additional Rs. 200 crore has been set up for drinking water supply in rural areas and Rs. 25 crore in urban areas. Each district collector will also be allotted Rs. 3 crore as a contingency to take necessary measures to prevent deaths caused by heat.
563 villages will receive water via operating tankers run by both private and public services, and defunct bore wells and hand pumps will be fixed. However, now announcement has been made regarding compensation to families of heat stroke victims.