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    Published On : Thu, Mar 30th, 2017

    People are dying of sun strokes – when will HAP get more effective in Nagpur?


    Representational Pic

    We all now that at least once in May Nagpur gains countrywide ‘notoriety’ for being the “hottest city of India” when mercury touches as high as 49* even.
    Hapless Nagpurians who have to go out at such times too – like students, daily wage laborers, riksha pullers etc. – are very likely to suffer from heat strokes and even die of sunstroke.

    Heat Action Plan – HAP

    Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, has a very effective Heat Action Plan (HAP) in place to give an early warning of the hot day to residents so they can stay at home or take precautions.

    “The action plan has brought down mortality due to heat” said Dr. Dileep Mavalankar, Director of the Indian Institute of Public Health ( IIPH) which is based in Gandhinagar.

    IIPH is only one of several agencies invovled in preparing HAP for Ahmedabad which has become the first Asian city to have this plan.

    The plan is to inform public before hand about prevailing weather conditions and advise them to necessary precautions.

    How does HAP help?

    In 2010 extreme heat conditions, with highs of 47*, Ahmedabad had seen 247 cases of heat strokes which had resulted in 65 deaths. But after HAP was implemented in 2014 there have been only 15 deaths 2014 and 11 in 2015.

    Apart from launching early warning systems for citizens, HAP also prepares and trains medical and community workers to raise public awareness to combat heat and inter-agency quick response mechanism to fight eventualities.

    How do you define a ‘heat wave?’

    The Indian Metereological Department defines heat wave as an increase of 5 degrees Celsius above the normal maximum temprature. An increase of 7* means a severe heat wave.

    Maharashtra decided to implement HAP last year and a pilot project was launched in Nagpur.

    Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Nagpur Division’s HAP inn charge has confirmed that “extreme heatwave conditions are being experienced in the last few years in Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Wardha and Nagpur districts.”

    Some measures like preparing public gardens as cool zones and deploying 108 ambulances are said to have been put in place but what public awareness has been created about this??

    NT had reported last year that
    ‘The HAP will be implemented from April 1 to June 30, 2016 in Nagpur and its population of 30 lakh will be the beneficiaries. The Heat Action Plan will also be implemented in districts like Gondia, Akola, Amravati and Chandrapur where the district authorities will be in-charge of implementing it.

    The inaugural programme will also be attended by Dr Jeremy Heiss of NRDC Washington, District Collector Sachin Kurve, Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, Anjali Jaiswal of NRDC, Dr Mavlankar, Director of IIPH Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Dr rathod of IMD, New Delhi and other prominent personalities.

    Following the footsteps of Ahmedabad, which is first in South Asia to come up with the plan, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation is also implementing the plan.The initial steps would involve data collection and analysis after which the plan will be presented to state government.’

    Has the state government come up with a concrete action plan yet or is it still in planning stages?

    Unusual heat is mounting in March only this year – time to get HAP happening and active is NOW.

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