Odisha extends school holidays as IMD predicts severe heatwave

Bhubaneswar: With temperatures hovering around 45 degree C and the IMD predicting severe heatwave conditions for at least three days from Thursday, the Odisha government on Tuesday extended school holidays till April 26 and decided to continue mid-day-meal scheme in drought affected areas even during the summer vacation.

"Keeping in view the forecast made by the IMD, the government has decided to extend the school holidays till April 26. The decision regarding opening of school will be in Bhubaneshwar.

The state government had earlier announced closure of schools run by the state government and private till April 20, in view of the prevailing heat wave condition.

The school and mass education department has meanwhile issued a notification in this regard.

"Though there is a marginal drop in temperature in coastal districts of Odisha due to the wind flow from south-east direction as well as the wind speed which is around 45 kmph, the models indicate that the temperature will gradually rise in next 48 hours in interior and coastal Odisha with severe heat wave condition in the next three days from April 21," Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre director Sarat Chandra Sahu said.

The state government in its MDM steering committee meeting chaired by chief secretary A P Padhi, decided to continue the mid-day meal scheme in 27 drought-affected districts in the state.

For this, the state government would spend Rs 81 crore towards the scheme to be continued during the summer holidays in 36,000 schools, said MDM state nodal officer Gangadhar Sahu.

Sahu said this time in 2016-17 fiscal, a total amount of Rs 975 crore is required to run the MDM in schools. Both the Centre and the state will have 60:40 share in the MDM scheme, he said.

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