Ranchi: With Jharkhand experiencing intense heat, the state government on Tuesday announced a change in school timings from April 19-25.
Students from kindergarten to class 5 will attend schools from 7 am to 11 am, while senior pupils will continue classes till noon, an order issued by the education department stated.
"Prayer meetings or sports will not be conducted under the sun during this period, but mid-day meals will continue," the order stated.
The Met department had earlier issued a heat wave alert for 11 districts on April 18 and 19.
It said Garhwa, Palamu, Latehar, Chatra, Godda, Sahibganj, Dumka, Pakur, East Singhbhum, Saraikela-Kharswan and West Singhbhum may witness a rise in temperatures. Many parts of the state simmered above 40 degrees Celsius.
The health department, in its recent advisory, asked people to drink adequate water, wear light-coloured, loose and cotton clothes and cover their heads with a cloth, hat or umbrella while venturing out of their houses.
Meanwhile, the Jharkhand High Court directed the state government to ensure there is no scarcity of water in Ranchi during the summer months.
It warned of strict action against the government if the water bodies in the state capital are found to be encroached.
A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and Justice Ananda Sen were hearing several public interest litigations on water scarcity and encroachment of water bodies.
The court said encroachments around water bodies need to be removed so that the natural flow into the water bodies is not obstructed.
Encroachments need to be cleared and new obstructions need to be dealt with severely, the court said, while disposing of the petitions.
Advocate Khushbu Kataruka had filed one of the petitions highlighting the plight of Ranchi Lake in the heart of the capital.
Several orders were passed by the high court directing the Ranchi Municipal Corporation and the state government to ensure that the Ranchi Lake and the other water bodies are cleaned in a routine manner to ensure water supply.