Northern and western India are reeling under near heat-wave conditions with experts expressing concerns over the uncomfortably hot temperatures that have shot past 40 degree Celsius in the first few weeks of summer.
Maximum temperatures hovered around five degree Celsius above normal in Gujarat,Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan and Maharashtra and even in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.Large parts of Orissa,Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also witnessing daily temperatures of more than 40 degree Celsius.In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,temperatures are forecast to touch 47 degree Celsius in the next few weeks.
By the end of the week scattered rain is expected to bring some relief to Delhi and neighbouring areas where temperatures have almost touched 40 degree Celsius. Akola in Maharashtra,recorded 44.1 degree Celsius,Barmer in Rajasthan recorded a high of 43.4 degrees Celsius while Narnaul in Haryana sizzled at 42 degrees Celsius,nine degrees above normal.Ludhiana in Punjab recorded seven degrees above normal 36.7 degrees.
The extremely hot temperatures comes on the back of the hottest summer in a century last year that killed 550 people and left not enough food to eat or water to drink in parts of an area that holds about 25% of India‚Äôs 1.2 billion people.In Uttar Pradesh, heat-wave like conditions prevailed with the mercury crossing 40 degree Celsius in Varanasi,Allahabad,Hamirpur and Agra.
The high temperatures also renew fears of another drought that is likely to sap rural demand,gut agriculture and pose a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‚Äôs plan to double farm income by 2022.