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Severe heat wave, power cuts paralyse life in Bihar

May 17, 2012 13:01 IST

Normal life in Bihar was affected on Thursday with temperatures soaring to over 43 degrees Celsius. The state is in the grip of heat wave conditions for the last four days that has forced people to remain indoors, officials said.

The local met office said there is going to be no relief from the heat with temperatures likely to further rise in the coming days.

The met officials said that capital Patna has recorded maximum temperature of 43.1 and 43.5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Gaya district has recorded 42 degrees Celsius in the last two days.

In Patna, roads to markets and other busy places are wearing deserted look in afternoon. "We prefer to remain inside our house to escape the scorching sun," Rakesh Singh, a college student, said.

Ashish Kumar Sen, an official of IMD, said that extreme weather has badly hit normal life. "It is a heat wave like condition in Bihar," he said.

Sen admitted that the natural weather cycle of rain after every 6 or 7 days was missing this year leading to excessive heating of land mass, a rare phenomenon, but a good development for monsoon.

Munna Yadav, another student said that he has decided not to venture out of house unless it is very urgent. "Heat wave conditions had forced people to avoid outside in day time. It is risky as we may be hit by a heat stroke," he said.

Most of Patna's shops and business centres witnessed a slump in business, as customers avoided venturing to the market owing to the severe heat wave.

Most of the private schools have been closed for summer holidays. But government runs schools are yet to close.
Government schools in the state were supposed to close for holidays after May 25.

Even litchi and mango production is likely to be less this year in the state due to fruit drop and fruit cracking thanks to heat wave.

People's woes have been escalated by frequent power outages that have left them sleepless.

Millions of people in Bihar's towns and districts are facing 'powerless' summer days and nights. "The outages have left people outraged with hundreds taking to the streets in the last two weeks and even blocking roads in Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Patna -- though the state capital has seen relatively less power cuts," Mahendra Yadav a RTI activist said.

The Bihar State Electricity Board blames the summer for it. It says power cuts are being imposed across the state since the demand for electricity is more than its supply.

While Bihar's daily power requirement is between 2,500 and 3,000 MW, the state produces merely 100 MW, said a BSEB official, who did not want to be named. The central government supplies 1,100-1,200 MW power to the state.

M I Khan in Patna