New Delhi, Mar 14: Amid the possibility of above-normal maximum temperatures over most parts of northeast, east and central India from March to May, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday chaired a meeting to review preparedness for the ensuing summer and mitigation measures.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) made a presentation on the global weather phenomena and the temperature outlook for the period from March to May 2023. Forecast for the second fortnight of March 2023 was also provided.
In its temperature outlook for the period of March to May, the weather office said that above normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of northeast, east, and central India and some parts of northwest India. The IMD also informed that minimum temperatures are more likely to be above normal over most parts of the country except south peninsular India, where normal to below normal temperatures are likely.
The IMD further informed that no significant heat waves are expected during the remainder of March 2023. However, temperatures could be 2-3 degrees Celsius above normal in some parts of Indo-Gangetic Plains and eastern India during the last week of March.
Secretaries of relevant Central Ministries and Departments and Chief Secretaries of States/UTs prone to heat wave conditions were present in the meeting.
The Cabinet Secretary noted that since a hotter-than-normal summer is expected in 2023, states and UTs need to be adequately prepared to meet the associated challenges. He noted that Central Ministries/Departments have been closely engaging with the states and UTs to ensure optimal preparedness levels and for implementing timely mitigation measures. He requested Chief Secretaries to review the preparedness for a likely heat wave with the relevant Departmental Secretaries and the District Collectors.
He stressed the importance of basic preparations such as repair of hand pumps, fire audit and mock drills, and also assured the states that Central agencies will continue to closely coordinate with them and will continue to be available for necessary assistance.
During the meeting, Secretary, Agriculture informed that the Rabi crop condition is normal as on date and the production of wheat is expected to be about 112.18 MT, the highest ever. He further informed that his department has constituted an Expert Committee headed by Agriculture Commissioner to monitor and mitigate terminal heat stress in wheat.
Secretary, Health & Family Welfare informed that the National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illness, released by the ministry in July 2021, outlines the challenges posed by a heat wave, heat-related illnesses and their management from primary to tertiary level.