With rising mercury, the weather condition is getting sweltering every day and the little rain has hardly brought any respite to the people of Bengal. Ignoring the scorching sun, officials of the traffic department and civic volunteers maintain traffic throughout the day and while the people, in general, are always looking for a little shade these officials have no other way but to brave the heat.
Problems increase manifold especially at the districts on the National Highways. In Howrah district only runs 55 km off NH-6 which is manned by 70 police officials and 345 civic volunteers.
In what is being touted as a humane move of the Howrah Rural Police, these officials and civic volunteers have not only been given umbrellas but it has also been ensured that they get enough bottles of water and ORS powder.
According to most civic volunteers, standing on the national highway from 10 am to 3 pm in the sun gives rise to severe health issues. Sunglasses, caps and even scarves on faces don’t seem to help much from the heat waves. Thus the water and ORS supplied to them in this severe weather condition has been a welcome move. “The umbrellas bring some shade in the sun but we have to use it intermittently because it becomes difficult to manage traffic carrying the umbrella in one hand. The bottles of water, however, had been lifesavers. Many of us are sometimes on the brink of fainting in the sun,” said a 20-plus civic volunteer on condition of anonymity.
Physicians said that working carries a lot of health risk. Since a lot of body fluid is given out with sweat there is a big risk of suffering from sunstroke and thus consuming a lot of water is indispensable. A senior official of the Howrah Rural Police also said that other than supplying water and ORS it has also been ordered to run regular health check-ups of these people who have to work in the sun for long hours.