Three Bengal districts face severe heat wave

Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) A severe heat wave will hit three districts in West Bengal in the next four days while state capital Kolkata will experience sultry conditions, weather officials said on Saturday.

“In Bankura, Burdwan and Birbhum, a severe heat wave is likely in the next four days. Temperatures will hover near 45 degrees Celsius. In West Midnapore, Howrah, Nadia, Purulia, heat wave has been forecast,” a Met official said.

The eastern metropolis is experiencing “sultry discomfort” with the mercury at 38-39 degrees Celsius.

Rains are expected after four days, the official said.

People huddled under umbrellas and took shelter in roadside kiosks and bus stands to evade the heat. Air-conditioned buses were packed to capacity and many opted for the underground Metro railways for the lower temperatures.

Bird baths and water bowls for street dogs were placed at vantage locations. Kiosks selling lemonade and a variety of organic juices have sprung up near parks and gardens.

Flavoured tea popsicles, fruit yogurt, kulfis made impressive sales. Food items like curd rice and panta-bhaat (boiled rice and water) are being preferred over meat dishes.

At sundown, the green lawns of Maidan and Eco Park are hosting huge crowds of people seeking respite from the scorching weather conditions.

To beat the heat, residents are also trying out innovative ideas such as laying bamboo shades, using bamboo blinds and rooftop gardening.

While some fanned themselves with battery-operated fans and hand-fans, many denizens dodged the soaring temperatures with dips in swimming pool.

–IANS

ssp/pm/

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