Bhubaneswar, Mar 14 (PTI) With the mercury rising across Odisha and Bhubaneswar recording 39 degree celsius in the middle of March, the state government has asked all departments to prepare a heat wave action plan to deal with the situation.

The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted intense heat wave during summer this year and possibility of the temperature rising by one degree above average.

Bhubaneswar and Talcher recorded 39.2 degrees c on Tuesday, which was the highest in the state, the weatherman said adding the heat will increase in the coastal districts on Thursday.

Chief Secretary A P Padhi presiding over a meeting here last night to review the preparedness for the ensuing summer, directed that all departments expedite awareness programmes and stay fully prepared to tackle the heat situation.

He directed all district collectors to hold regular meetings on disaster management and ensure 24-hour healthcare services for sunstroke patients at hospitals.

The meeting, attended by secretaries of all departments and the special relief commissioner among others, discussed awareness on heat wave, early warning, drinking water facilities and healthcare services.

The chief secretary has also asked the labour and employment department to issue advisories that labourers should not work during the noon. He has also asked the electricity department to regulate power supply.

The state government has already asked all schools and anganwadis to conduct morning classes from 6.30 am to 10 am and store drinking water, ORS and first aid, officials said.

The school and mass education department has already issued a directive in this regard and it will be implemented from April 1, they added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.