In Bihar’s Gaya, Tough Law Invoked As Heatwave Kills Over 60


The heatwave in Bihar that killed over 60 people on Saturday last has led the administration in Gaya city to take tough measures, banning large gatherings during the day.

In a statement, the administration in Gaya enforced Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bans large gatherings, usually to control law and order – but this time to force the public to stay indoors so that they don’t become a victim of the killer heatwave.

Gaya, a dry and dusty city some 116 km from state capital Patna, is among the areas in Bihar worst affected by the heat wave; deaths have also been reported from Aurangabad and Nawada, with 27 dying in Aurangabad alone last week.

In its statement, the Gaya administration banned construction and other outdoor activities that involve intense manual labour between 11 am and 4 pm.

“Any work related to MGNREGA will not be done after 10: 30 am,” district administration chief Abhishek Singh said in the order.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan called the deaths in Gaya “unfortunate” and advised people against leaving their homes during peak hours.

India is seeing its worst heatwave this year with four cities in north India on a record high. Delhi, Churu in Rajasthan, and Banda and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh saw temperatures reaching a high of 48 degree Celsius and above.

A heat wave is declared when temperature remains at 45 degree Celsius and above for two consecutive days. It gets a “severe” tag when the temperature touches 47 degree Celsius.

Bihar’s Muzaffarpur is also struggling with the viral disease encephalitis that has killed a hundred children in the last 16 days.

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