Heatwaves in India: Heat wave needs to be declared a national disaster, Rajasthan HC strict on deaths due to heat wave

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A single bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand has said that now the time has come to declare heat and cold wave as a national disaster. He ordered the state government to pay compensation to the dependents of those who died due to heat wave, and also directed the Chief Secretary of the state to constitute committees of various departments to take immediate and appropriate steps for the effective implementation of the ‘Heat Action Plan’ prepared under it.

The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday took suo motu cognizance of the deaths caused by scorching heat and heatwave in the state and said that heatwave and cold wave need to be declared a national disaster. The court said that according to Rajasthan government data, five people have died so far due to the ongoing heatwave conditions in the state and added that media reports of rise in deaths due to heatstroke are bereft of facts.

A single bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand has said that now the time has come to declare heat and cold wave as a national disaster. He ordered the state government to pay compensation to the dependents of those who died due to heat wave, and also directed the Chief Secretary of the state to constitute committees of various departments to take immediate and appropriate steps for the effective implementation of the ‘Heat Action Plan’ prepared under it.

Seeing the large number of deaths due to extreme heat and cold wave across the country, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA in short) started working on it. The courts said that ‘heatwave and coldwave need to be declared a national disaster.’ Referring to the steps and action plans of the authorities in relation to climate change, the court said that despite drafting such action plans, the welfare state does not take steps effectively to protect the public from such extreme heat conditions.

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