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How Slum Dwellers In Bhubaneswar Are Coping Up With Heatwave Post FANI?


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16 May 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das


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Bhubaneswar: Susama Sethi use dto dread the onset of summer every year. Her two-room home in a Santipalli would get so hot that she could not sit indoors for several hours in the day even with the ceiling fan running.

The story remains the same for all the residents of slums in Bhubaneswar where summers are a big problem the condition worsens with a heatwave situation.

However, this summer the narrative has changed completely with the attack of extremely severe cyclone FANI. A large number of slums in the city have been destroyed. The thatched houses with rickety walls have sustained major damages and the inhabitants have sought shelter under polythene sheets till they rebuild their houses.

"We are experiencing horrendous times like never before. The situation is indescriptible during the afternoon hours. The rising temprature is making survival a difficult affair. Besides, arranging water for our daily needs is another major concern," said Arundhati of Shikharchandi slum said.

Some of them said that the situation was tolerable for a couple of days after the cyclone hit. "At that time (after cyclone) we were staying at the Masjid which has a concrete ceiling. “The relief material and water supply was also regular. Now that we had to return to our damaged houses, we are back to the worse,” said Fatima Bibi of Shantipalli slum.

While the local ULB has made arrangements for relief distribution and water supply, the rising mercury levels have left the slum dwellers in a pitiable condition. And hotter days are yet to come as the weathermen have predicted that there will be no relief from the heatwave like situation for the next one week.

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