Chairing a review meeting on preparations for heat wave management and monsoon preparedness Delhi, Modi called for regular fire safety audits of hospitals in view of rising temperatures and taking steps to reduce vulnerability of forests against fire hazards.
The Prime Minister also advised all states to prepare Flood Preparedness Plan for monsoon and Heat Action Plan for summers, according to a government statement.
Modi called upon the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to develop its deployment plan in flood-affected states. “Active use of social media for sensitization of communities has to be widely adopted,” the Prime Minister said according to the statement.
Modi also directed officials that in view of upcoming monsoons, arrangements for monitoring the quality of drinking water need to be ensured to avoid contamination and spread of water-borne diseases.
The meeting also discussed ways and means to effectively coordinate between Centre and states for any incidents in the wake of heat waves and upcoming monsoons.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, advisors to the Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary, secretaries to the ministries of Home, Health, Jal Shakti and other top officials of NDMA and IMD.
Last week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in an update said that Northwest and central India experienced their hottest April in 122 years with average maximum temperatures reaching 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius respectively.
Addressing a press conference, IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said parts of northwest and west central India--Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana--will continue to experience above normal temperatures in May as well.
Overall, in the country as a whole, the temperatures in April 2022, was the fourth highest in the last 122 years.
The heatwave, Mohapatra said, could have a negative impact on agriculture and could lower the yields of several standing crops particularly in Punjab, Haryana and West UP.
He also said in May nights would be warmer in most parts of the country, except some regions of south peninsular India, Mohapatra said.
According to the IMD, the temperatures have risen abnormally in March and April this year largely due to absence of any western disturbance which could bring about some rains and cooled down the temperatures.
Rainfall in March and April this year was 84 per cent deficient over Northwest India, 54 per cent short over Central India but 40 per cent excess over East and North-East India and 38.5 per cent excess over Southern India.
On monsoon, the met department in its April forecast had said that southwest monsoon over the country as a whole in 2022 is expected to be ‘normal’ at 99 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).
The LPA for the June to September months has now been revised at 87 centimeters based on data collected between 1971-2020.
Earlier, private weather forecasting agency, Skymet, had said that the southwest monsoon in 2022 was expected to be 'normal' at 98 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA). Skymet’s forecast too is with an error margin of plus and minus 5 percent.