With temperatures soaring across Andhra Pradesh; the AP government led by Chandrababu Naidu, is taking several measures to prevent deaths due to heat stroke in the state. The government will now distribute buttermilk and ORS packets to the economically weaker sections of the community. Last year, the state registered over 2000 deaths due to heat stroke and that has led the state to take such initiatives.

Creating a contingency fund of Rs 39 crores in a cabinet meeting held in Vijayawada earlier this week, Mr Naidu has ordered all the 13 district collectors in the state to extend relief measures to poor sections by distributing the buttermilk and ORS sachets; with a budget of Rs. 3 crores per district. Several places in the state have recorded temperatures of over 40°C and the temperatures are expected to be more in the coming weeks; especially in Rayalaseema.

The state government also allotted Rs 200 crores for drinking water supply in rural areas and Rs 25 crores for the same in urban areas and said that the mitigation measures will be monitored by TDP leaders, ministers and minister-in-charge of respective districts.

The cabinet has decided to take up the repair works for defunct borewells and handpumps in villages and also planning to supply drinking water through takers to 563 villages, whereas the government had transported drinking water to 4,000 villages last year.

In the meeting, the cabinet also proposed to restart the defunct lift schemes at a cost of Rs 450 crore, to provide employment to jobless workers under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and planning to increase the number of employed from 13 lakh to 20 lakhs with this scheme.

Mr Naidu gave strict orders to the district authorities to give relief to the NREGS workers in the afternoon and make them work in morning and evening sessions. Also asked to set up water distribution centers at public as well as work places.

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