New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired an important meeting to review heatwave management and monsoon preparedness.The Prime Minister observed that we need to take all measures to avoid deaths due to heatwave or fire incidents and added that our response time towards any such incidents should be minimal.

During the meeting, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) briefed about the persistence of high temperatures in March-May 2022 across the country. States and UTs have been advised to prepare Heat Action Plans as a standard response at the state, district and city levels, read a release by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

PM further stressed that in view of the rising temperatures, regular hospital fire safety audits need to be done. PM Modi also spoke about the need to work to substantially reduce the vulnerability of forests across the diverse forest ecosystems in the country against fire hazards, enhance the capabilities of forest personnel and institutions for timely detection of a possible fire and for fighting fires, and to speed up recovery after a fire event.

He directed that in view of upcoming monsoons, arrangements for monitoring the quality of drinking water need to be ensured to avoid contamination and resultant spread of water-borne diseases.

It was discussed in the meeting about the need for effective coordination between central and state agencies to ensure the preparedness of all systems for any incidents in the wake of a heatwave and upcoming monsoons, the PMO said.

Regarding southwest monsoon preparedness, all states have been advised to prepare 'Flood Preparedness Plans' and undertake appropriate preparedness measures. NDRF has been advised to develop its deployment plan in flood-affected states. Active use of social media for sensitisation of communities has to be widely adopted, the PMO said.

Earlier, the health ministry had also issued an advisory for all states and UTs to ensure preparedness to deal with the rising temperature. The ministry listed dos and don'ts to observe during the heatwave.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter, requested states and UTs to keep daily surveillance on heat-related illnesses under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) in all states and districts starting March 1.

Among the dos, the Centre has advised people to stay hydrated, covered, alert, and stay indoors as much as possible. “Elderly or sick people living alone should be supervised and their health monitored on a daily basis,” it said.

 (With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha