With intense heat wave sweeping across the coal belt, the temperatures in the opencast projects (OCPs) shot up to above 45 degree Celsius in the Kothagudem region of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).

Sources said that the temperatures in the coal towns -- Kothagudem, Manuguru and Yellendu, hovered between 43 and 45 degree Celsius on Friday. The OCPs in the region experienced two to three degrees above the soaring day temperatures in the coal towns. The mercury level is likely to climb up to 50 degree Celsius in the opencast mines due to the unrelenting heat wave.

The coal miners those engaged in surface mining operations at the OCPs are hard-hit by the sweltering heat wave conditions. The operators of the non-AC dumpers at the opencast mines are bearing the brunt of the heat wave conditions. The officials concerned have made alternative arrangements to help them cope with the heat wave. According to sources, the searing heat wave is showing its adverse impact on attendance of the miners particularly during the first shift. Apart from initiating the statutory measures to protect the miners from heat stroke, the SCCL management has embarked on health awareness camps at the coalmines.

The medical and health wing of the company has made arrangements for distribution of butter milk and ORS packets to the coal miners free of cost during the awareness camps. It has laid focus on provision of drinking water at workplace, canteens and restrooms.