A deserted road in Kothagudem
A deserted road in Kothagudem

Kothagudem: The temple town of Bhadrachalam was sizzled at 42 degrees celsius on Tuesday. The coal towns in Bhadradri-Kothagude district - Kothagudem, Yellendu, Manuguru and industrial towns Palvoncha, Aswauram, Sarapaka and Laxmipuram - also touched 42 degree celsius. For the past five days, these towns were facing hot winds, which have more coal mines and industries. It is usual that the district will record 45 degree celsius in mid May every year.

In coal mine areas, particularly open caste mines, temperature between 44 degree to 45 degree celsius will be recorded in May. But the unseasonal rains in April last week have cooled the district to some extent. But with the advent of May month, the temperatures have been increasing with each day. From last eight days, 41 degree celsius to 42 degree celsius temperatures were being recorded in all towns across the district.

With the scorching heat, people in the district are not coming out of their houses after 10 am. Unless urjent, they are remaining indoors and doing their chores in the evening hours. Coal workers and industrial employees were afraid of doing their duties in summer. 

Singareni Workers Unions have been demanding that the management should provide facilities to open cast workers during duty time to protect from the excessive heat. They demanded supply of buttermilk pakcets and arranging air coolers in open cast mines immediately. The unions also submitted a memorandum to Singareni Collieries Company Limited top officials, explaining their problems. 

Meanwhile, vendors of vegetables, fruits and other items are the worst sufferers, as they stopped selling the items. “We are purchasing fruits and vegetables in the market. But they are getting damaged due to the heat as less people are coming to purchase them,” said Lakshmi, a vendor. 

Stating that they will incur loss in summer without much sales, she lamented that their families are dependent on these sales only. Lakshmi said that she set up an umbrella to protect herself from the heat, but it is of no use.

As many as five people were died due to sunstroke in May month in the district. District Collector Rajiv Gandhi Hanumanthu said arrangements were made to provide drinking water in and around the district.  Temporary water supply shelters were being arranged in all bus stands, railway stations and all main centers in the district.  Medical department will distribute ORS packets in all centers.