Patna: Bihar is experiencing a very hot summer, fires in the state had claimed the life's of 66 people and 1,200 animals in the past two weeks. The state government, in order to get rid of the devasting heat, has come up with a strange solution "No Cooking."
The Nitish Kumar government orders its people not to cook between 9 am and 6 pm during the summer and those who violate the order can be jailed for up to two years. Religious functions involving fire have also been banned.
The government can with this solution with a logic that heavy winds are picking up sparks from cooking fires and igniting straw huts.
Nearly 300 huts were burnt two days ago in the Begusarai district of Bihar. The number of fire incidents in Bihar have gone up due to the severe summer."The point is that hundreds of lives are at risk. The order has only been given after a detailed survey on just how the fires started. The jail term is based on a law on disaster management," says Vyasji, the Bihar government official in charge of handling disasters.
At a village in Bihar's Jehanabad, Satender Bind, who lost his hut in a recent fire, says: "It sounds fine but I wonder how many people will follow it. There are practical difficulties. But yes... I did lose my home in a fire and it started from someone's cooking."
Policemen at the village say enforcing such an order is difficult but the threat of punishment may spur villagers to follow it on their own.
Across the country, a heat wave has led to more than 100 deaths, especially in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.