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Killer heat wave: Over 1700 dead in two Telugu speaking states of India

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New Delhi: People fill water from a water tanker to beat the heat on a scorching hot day in New Delhi on May 23, 2015. (Photo: Sunil Majumdar/IANS)
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Hyderabad/New Delhi/Mumbai/Jaipur: The searing heat wave continued unabated on Thursday in many parts of India, claiming another 414 lives in Andhra and Telangana alone to take the toll above 1,700 while rains brought relief in some states, officials said.

Andhra Pradesh reported 313 more deaths due to sunstroke during last 24 hours while 100 more succumbed in Telangana.

With this the toll in the two Telugu states rose to 1,774. While Andhra Pradesh accounted for 1,334 deaths, 440 people died in Telangana, officials said.

Four deaths due to sunstroke were reported from West Bengal and one from Bihar, in addition to two from New Delhi on Wednesday. According to unofficial sources, two dozen people have died in Bihar.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the heat wave conditions will continue at few places in Odisha, Vidarbha, Jharkhand and Telangana and at isolated places over Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and coastal Andhra Pradesh over next two days.

It has also forecast rain/thunder showers at most places in the northeast and at a few places in Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

No respite from the blistering heat was in sight in Andhra and Telangana as both states sizzled with the highest temperature of 47 degrees Celsius.

Khammam and Nizamabad in Telangana recorded 47 degree Celsius, as did Nandigama and Ongole in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the Meteorological Centre in Hyderabad, though rains brought the temperature down in some parts of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, severe heat wave conditions continued in the state.

The heat wave paralysed life in Rajasthan, which continued to reel under heat wave conditions on Thursday, with the maximum temperature hovering between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius.

The temperatures in some places, including state capital Jaipur was higher by 3-4 degree celsius above the average. Jaipur was hot at 44.7 degrees Celsius, four degrees above average, while Bundi and Kota were sizzling at 45.5 degrees and 45.4 degrees Celsius.

“The heat wave is likely to prevail in some places in Rajasthan in the next 24 hours. Jaipur will see partly cloudy skies with the possibility of a dust storm. The maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 44 degrees and 28 degrees respectively in Jaipur in next 24 hours,” a weather department official told IANS.

The hills of Himachal Pradesh experienced warm weather, with Una town recording a high of 43.2 degrees Celsius.

“Temperatures soared due to the dry spell. Shimla recorded a maximum temperature of 28.5 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal (average) for this time of the year,” a meteorological department official told IANS.

Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, recorded 32.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above average.

It was a hot and dry Thursday in the national capital, with the maximum temperature recorded at 41.1 degrees Celsius, a notch above average. The met office forecast similar conditions on Friday, with the sky likely to be clear through the day and the maximum and the minimum likely to hover around 41 degree and 27 degree Celsius.

Heat wave conditions continued in Bihar with the mercury touching 41.7 degree Celsius in Gaya district, the hottest place in the state and Patna recording 39 degree Celsius, met officials said in Patna.

“People will have to wait for a few more days to get any respite from the prevailing severe heatwave,” said met office director A.K. Sen.

Vayas ji, the principal secretary of the state disaster management department told IANS that heat wave has claimed one life so far. However, unofficial reports received from different parts of state said that at least two dozen people have died in the last one week due to the heat.

Uttar Pradesh also continued to reel under the intense heat with the met office promising no immediate relief from the scorcher.

The weather office in Lucknow said maximum temperatures across the state were expected to rise further during the next 24 hours to Friday evening.

“Bundelkhand region and parts of western UP will see as much as three degrees rise in day temperatures,” said meteorological department director J.P. Gupta

Slight relief was experienced from the heat wave conditions in certain parts of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha and Marathwada regions though high temperatures ruled the roost in most areas on Thursday.

Chandrapur recorded the highest temperature of 47 degrees Celsius and Nagpur was second at 46 degrees, though the state has no officially recorded heat-wave related casualties.

Wardha, Akola and Parbhani recorded 45 degrees – a degree higher than Wednesday -while Yavatmal stood at 44 degrees on Thursday.

Intermittent drizzle and strong winds overnight brought welcome relief to Bhopal and other places in Madhya Pradesh which had been reeling under blistering conditions.

The residents of Bengaluru experienced pleasant weather on Thursday, while other parts of Karnataka braved a heat wave – the mercury at 42.5 degrees Celsius in Kalaburgi, 41.5 degrees in Bijapur and 42.4 degrees in Raichur, officials said.

-IANS

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two about the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read : China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s boarders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June, 2017 and 5 July, 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons  as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July, 2017, China asked India again to withrew its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July, 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read : Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab ?

What followed till 16th August, 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters awayfrom their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue for now is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.