Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an important meeting on Thursday to review preparations for heatwave management and the imminent monsoon.
During the meeting, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) briefed the Prime Minister about the persistence of high temperatures in March-May 2022 across the country, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
Prime Minister Modi observed that "we need to take all measures" to avoid deaths due to heatwave or incidents of fire, according to the statement. He said the response time to any such incidents should be minimal.
Mr. Modi stressed that regular hospital fire safety audits needed to be done in view of the rising temperatures.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the need to work to substantially reduce the vulnerability of forests to fire hazards, enhance the capabilities of forest personnel and institutions for timely detection of a possible fire and fighting fires, and to speed up recovery after a fire event, according to the statement.
He directed that arrangements for monitoring the quality of drinking water needed to be ensured in view of upcoming monsoon, to avoid contamination and resultant spread of water-borne diseases, the statement said.
The PMO said that the need for effective coordination between Central and State agencies to ensure preparedness of all systems for any incidents in the wake of heatwave and upcoming monsoon was also discussed.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Advisors to the PM, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries in the Ministries of Home, Health, and Jal Shakti, member, NDMA, DGs of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and NDRF.
The crucial meeting was held hours after Prime Minister Modi returned from a three-day visit to as many European countries.