Heat stress-related deaths are on the rise in India
Bhubaneswar (PTI): The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada has chosen Bhubaneswar, along with Delhi and Rajkot, for its Heat Stress Action Plan (HSAP) project, Odisha’s Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi said on Thursday.
The Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe), a leading research institute and think-tank based in New Delhi, had sent a proposal to IDRC for inclusion of the three cities in its HSAP project.
The IRADe will follow the guidelines issued by the Canada-based institute to conduct a study on the implications of heat on the health and livelihoods of occupational workers, women and senior citizens living in urban slums, Sethi said.
“Their (slum people) tin roof dwellings and poor sanitation conditions make them particularly vulnerable to heat stress,” he said.
The Delhi-based think-tank will carry out the study in partnership with the municipal Corporations of Rajkot, Delhi, and Bhubaneswar, Odisha State Disaster Management Agency and Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar.
In a letter sent on Wednesday, the institute informed the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) that its proposal has been approved by IDRC, the special relief commissioner said.
The project will gather evidence and develop spatially differentiated adaptation plan for the three cities, Sethi said.
Stating that heat stress-related deaths are on the rise in India, Sethi said heat waves, of all the effects of climate change, are likely to cause most deaths in the coming years.
“There is little understanding and quantification of how heat stress affects health, work productivity and livelihoods of the economically and socially marginalized population,” Sethi said.
The project aims to improve people’s resilience to heat stress, reduce cost of adaptation, improve capacity of city officials, doctors and health care providers, upgrade communication systems within the city and state departments, and generate awareness and knowledge among policy-makers, he added.