Barmer hottest as Rajasthan sizzles

Jaipur, May 29 (IANS) Heat wave conditions continued to prevail in Rajasthan Saturday with the mercury hovering between 41-44 degrees Celsius in many parts of the state.

Barmer was the hottest city in the state Saturday with the day temperature touching 44.6 degrees Celsius. Churu at 43.8 and Kota at 43.6 degree Celsius were the next two hot cities.

The state capital Jaipur recorded a maximum temperature of 42.6 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal.

The night temperature in Jaipur Friday was recorded at 31.6 degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal.

‘Heat wave conditions along with dust-raising winds would prevail over Rajasthan in the next 24 hours,’ a local meteorological department officials told IANS Saturday.

He said that day temperatures are unlikely to see any major change in next 48 hours.

Though the state government has officially not released any figure on heat related deaths, but the local media puts death toll for the season at 50.

Streets in Jaipur wore a deserted look Saturday as residents preferred to stay indoors to escape the heat.

People involved in field jobs have started taking evasive action to escape the heat.

‘Due to the scorching heat, I have changed my time. I do my work before 11 a.m. and start again at 6 p.m.,’ said Rakesh Bhardwaj, a direct marketing executive, here.

There are some for whom the heat wave is proving to be a business opportunity. ‘Earlier, I was selling 100-150 ice creams on an average daily, now with this heat wave peaking my sales have doubled,’ said Akhil Kumar, an ice cream vendor.

Cold drink sellers and watermelon vendors are reporting brisk sales. At Rs.5-10 a kg, water melons are considered an effective and cheap way to ward of summer heat.

‘Till recently, I used to sell 50-70 water melons in a day but now I am selling over 100, thanks to this high temperature,’ said Banwari, a watermelon seller in Jaipur.