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Explained: Delhi's action plan to save vulnerable from extreme heat

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has recently developed and submitted a comprehensive heat action plan to the central government

By Pallav Jain
New Update
delhi heat action plan

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has recently developed and submitted a comprehensive heat action plan to the central government with the aim of safeguarding individuals from the adverse impacts of heat waves. This plan encompasses various measures, including altering school schedules during heat waves and implementing restrictions on non-essential water usage. The primary objective of this Heat Action Plan is to shield vulnerable groups, including children, senior citizens, and outdoor laborers, from the extreme heat conditions prevalent in Delhi.

What is Delhi's new heat action plan?

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has taken measures to combat extreme heat in the city by establishing rules, which were submitted to the Central Government for review in the previous month. This comprehensive heat action plan is set to be implemented in Delhi starting the following summer.

The new heat action plan will be executed in three phases, with phase one occurring during the pre-heat season from February to March. During this phase, the Early Warning System will be responsible for informing and educating the general public, healthcare workers, and caregivers. The primary aim of this phase will be to provide training and enhance the capabilities of these individuals.

During phase two, scheduled from March to July, the main focus will be on constructing cooling centers. Additionally, the aim is to enhance the comfort and protection of the general public throughout the scorching heat wave by opening up and painting the roofs of public buildings, temples, malls, and night shelters with sun-reflecting white paint.

The cool roof paint program will be implemented in high-risk settlements in Delhi that are vulnerable to heat waves.

During phase three, scheduled for July to September, our efforts will prioritize the construction of resting centers to provide cool and comfortable spaces, along with an extensive tree plantation initiative targeting high-risk areas.

Delhi's Heat Action Plan 2024

Key Provisions in the Delhi heat action plan (HAP)

  • When a heat wave is declared, the education department will be instructed to close schools during peak hours from 12 noon to 4 pm.
  • Hospitals and healthcare centers will benefit from uninterrupted power supply, ensuring the continuity and reliability of critical facilities.
  • Night shelters will remain open during the daytime as well, especially during heat waves.
  • Digital LED boards will be strategically placed in prominent locations to provide updated temperature information to the public.
  • The Indian Meteorological Department plans to introduce color-coded alerts for the local population. A red alert will be issued when the temperature reaches 6 degrees above the normal range, while an orange alert will be issued at 4 degrees above normal. Additionally, a yellow alert will be issued for temperatures up to 3.9 degrees above the normal range.
  • ORS will be made readily available to prevent dehydration not only at religious places, construction sites, bus transits, and public places.
  • Every effort will be made to guarantee an adequate water supply throughout all corners of Delhi during the summer season. In order to achieve this, the availability of water through the provision of water tankers specifically in the slum areas will be ensured.

Why Delhi Needed Heat Action Plan?

Delhi, one of the hottest cities in India, is home to a significant population of individuals from lower-income groups who are compelled to endure and work under extreme heat wave conditions.

According to a paper authored by M Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, along with scientists Kamaljit Ray, S S Ray, R K Giri, and A P Dimri, India has witnessed 706 heatwave incidents from 1971 to 2019. These incidents tragically resulted in the loss of more than 17,000 lives.

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