Heat wave toll in Andhra mounts to 274

Hyderabad, May 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh continued to sizzle with the severe heat wave conditions claiming a heavy toll. Disaster management department officials Saturday said the heat claimed 274 lives since April 1.

The officials had Friday put the toll at 84. They, however, have not specified the number of casualties on Friday and Saturday.

The statement released by Commissioner Disaster Management T. Radha said Adilabad and Karimnagar districts accounted for 43 deaths each. Forty people died in Prakasam, 26 in Khammam, 20 in Warangal, 18 in East Godavari, 16 in West Godavari and 12 in Medak.

According to India Meteorological Department, heat wave conditions would prevail over some parts of Telangana and coastal Andhra Pradesh till Monday.

The highest maximum temperature of 47.3 degrees Celsius was recorded at Rentachintala in Guntur district on Saturday.

The government has already announced a compensation of Rs.50,000 each to kin of the victims belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have demanded the government to treat heat wave as a natural calamity and pay a compensation of Rs.2 lakh each to the families of the dead.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Harish Rao demanded that employees of Singareni Collieries be given holidays in view of temperature in the coal belt shooting up to 50 degrees Celsius.

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