June 13, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

India goes to polls even as temperature crosses 45C

The Nepal Weekly
May 21, 2024

Northern India, including the capital city Delhi, is reeling under a fierce heatwave with temperatures crossing 45 degree celsius over the weekend. On Sunday, Najafgarh district in Delhi recorded a temperature of 47.8C, the highest in the country this season. The heat spell is likely to continue this week, according to the weather department.

The scorching heat comes as India is conducting its general election, the results of which is expected on June 4.

Indian summers, which extend from March to September, are usually hot and humid. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said the country is likely to experience longer and more intense heatwaves this year. On Saturday, temperatures crossed 45C in 10 locations in the National Capital Region, which consists of Delhi and some districts from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. The IMD has predicted that maximum temperatures in Delhi and other northern cities are likely to hover around 45-46C over Monday and Tuesday. It has also predicted a fresh heat spell over parts of western and central India over the next few days.

Many Indian states, reeling under the heatwave, are also witnessing the polls this week. On Monday, millions of voters will cast their votes in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar while Delhi will vote on 25 May. The elections are being held in seven phases from 19 April to 1 June.

Many voters have expressed discomfort stepping out in the extreme heat. They say it’s difficult standing in queues, especially for senior citizens. India’s election authorities have extended voting timings and have asked people to protect themselves against the heat while going to vote.

While some people use air-conditioners and water coolers to keep themselves cool, others, especially in the more distant towns, have devised their own ways of coping with the heat – from keeping water cool in earthen jugs to taking drinks made with raw mango pulp to ward off heat strokes.