With mercury level constantly hovering around 40 degree Celsius mark for past five days, the State government on Thursday asked all schools to start morning classes from March 24.

Reviewing situation in wake of rise in temperature with district magistrates and Revenue Divisional Commissioner the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked educational institute to change timings of school hour.

The direction would be applicable to both government and private schools across the State.

Mr. Patnaik asked district magistrate to ensure safe and pure drinking water provision in every school.

Besides, Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) have been asked to repair tube-wells and other drinking water sources in all places especially in water-scarce areas. He also directed Collectors to strengthen monitoring of piped water supply in villages and make sure those function smoothly. Moreover, drinking water should be supplied in tankers.

RDCs were asked to conduct weekly review meeting on water provisioning during summer season.

On Thursday, the maximum daytime temperature crossed 40 degree Celsius mark at six places including Bhubaneswar.

Other places where temperature remained above the 40 degree Celsius mark include Bolangir, Malkanagiri, Titlagarh, Angul and Bhawanipatna.

Local meteorological centre forecast that the State would continue to experience such high temperature in coming days.