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Now, get heat wave alert on SMS

The civic body has finalised draft action plan for heat stroke campaign to be launched on April 1.

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If all goes well with the civic body’s planning, beating the heat this summer may get a shade easier. Amdavadis will get text messages on their mobile phones informing them about heat wave forecast.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on Wednesday finalised its heat wave action plan, probably making it the first in India to have one. The action plan will be launched in the city on April 1.

As part of its campaign, the civic body will carry out various awareness activities including sending text messages to residents informing them about heat wave forecast.

In the meeting held with Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar (IIPH-G) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), AMC finalised the heat wave action plan on Wednesday.
Keeping in mind the issues of climate change, AMC will start preparing residents to fight against dangerous illnesses like sun stroke, dehydration, etc due to heat wave. Elaborating on it, mayor Asit Vora said, “We’ll focus on three key strategies — building public awareness and community outreach; initiating early warning systems; and capacity building among health care professionals.”

Under public awareness activities, AMC plans to circulate warnings to residents and other government departments via text messages. The action plan will be launched on April 1 in the city. “Talks are in progress with a few telecom companies for sending bulk SMSes to citizens,” said Dr Tejas Shah, nodal officer for Heat Action Plan.

The text alerts will consist of the forecast of next two-three days and will have information on temperature and other details. Data will be sought from meteorological department. AMC will also seek support from Georgia Tech University. The civic body authorities have already had talks with the two bodies.

AMC will also install temperature measuring machines at 10 different locations in the city. “These machines will display the daily temperature on large LED screens and also show the forecast of next two-three days at six zonal offices and major traffic junctions,” added Dr Shah.

Addressing the media, Vora also said that the project was conceived as a response to the extreme heat waves that had hit the city in May 2010 and to prepare for such situations in the future. “We want to reduce the negative health impacts of extreme heat on the local population,” added Vora.

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