The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday said that heatwaves should be declared a national calamity after noting deaths that have occurred due to the extreme weather this month, reported The Indian Express.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan’s Churu saw the mercury climbing to a record 50.5 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest city in India, according to the India Meteorological Department.

The state government told the court on Thursday that five deaths due to heat have been reported in Rajasthan.

A single-judge bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand said that extreme heat with temperatures reaching over 50 degrees Celsius has “affected millions of people of the state of Rajasthan and across the nation”, reported Bar and Bench.

“Climate change, man-made change to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, cutting of trees, land use changes, destroying natural water bodies, etc. can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet,” said Dhand.

To address the issue of deaths due to heat, the court directed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state to make available all possible facilities at all health centres to treat heatstroke patients.

Justice Dhand also asked the government to issue an advisory for the workers who work in the open, including porters and carts and rickshaw pullers, to allow them to rest between noon and 3 pm during extreme heat.

“Unfortunately the poor who are poorly fed and have no option but to work in the scorching heat and chilling cold to get two square meals are vulnerable to these extreme weather conditions and lose their lives,” the court said, reported Bar and Bench.

The High Court also directed the state government to issue heatwave alerts through Short Message Service, radio, television, mobile apps, print and the electronic media.

Dhand noted that the Prevention of Death Due to Heat and Cold Waves Bill introduced by the Centre on December 18, 2015, in the Rajya Sabha has not become a law till now, reported Live Law. The bill had proposed to declare heatwaves and cold waves as national calamities and had mandated advance preparedness by the Centre and state governments.

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