A 12-year-old ragpicker, who was trying to protect himself from heat by taking shelter in a parked car, suffocated to death apparently after the doors of the vehicle got locked automatically, police said Wednesday. The incident took place on Tuesday in Aalewadi village in Akola district of Maharashtra. A police official said the car had not been used for the past two years due to some technical defect. It was parked by its owner in the bushes. Talking about the incident, the official said the deceased Tanesh Ballal had come to the area in the afternoon with his grandmother to collect plastic waste.
He might have got inside the car to take shelter from heat, but got trapped inside as doors might have got locked, he said, adding that Ballal's grandmother kept looking for him the entire day. "In the night, when the owner of the car opened its door, he found a boy lying motionless inside," the official said, adding that the boy was later identified as Ballal. A case has been registered in Dahihada police station and further investigation is underway.
Akola district, which is part of Vidarbha region in east Maharashtra, has been reeling under intense heat for the last three days.
Meanwhile, the intense heatwave sweeping northern India persisted on Wednesday, with the mercury hovering around 47 degrees Celsius in many parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh even as there were light rains at isolated places in the region.
There was no relief for the national capital, with the mercury crossing the 44-degrees Celsius mark in some parts of the city. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded a high of 42.5 degrees Celsius, two notches more than normal, and a low of 29.8 degrees Celsius. The weather stations at Ayanagar and Palam recorded the maximum temperature at 44.6 degrees Celsius.
In Rajasthan, Churu continued to be the hottest place, recording a maximum of 47.3 degrees Celsius, even as light rainfall occurred at isolated places in eastern parts of the state. Among other places, Kota recorded a high of 47 degrees Celsius, followed by Ganganagar at 46.8 degrees Celsius, Bikaner 46 degrees Celsius, Jaisalmer 45.1 degrees Celsius, Ajmer 44.5 degrees Celsius, and Jaipur at 44.1 degrees Celsius. The sweltering heat is likely to persist in most parts of the state over the next 48 hours. The weatherman has forecast the possibility of duststorm/thunderstorm and gusty winds at isolated places in the eastern parts of the state.
In Uttar Pradesh, Banda was the hottest place at 47.2 degrees Celsius (five degrees above normal), followed by Jhansi at 47 degree Celsius (five degrees above normal). Agra reeled at 45.5 degrees Celsius. Allahabad recorded a high of 44.7 degrees Celsius, while the mercury rose to 44.8 degrees Celsius in Etawah.
The meteorological department has also issued a warning of duststorm or thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds and lightening at isolated places over western Uttar Pradesh. Narnaul recorded the highest temperature in Haryana at 45.3 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal limits, the Meteorological Department said.
Hisar recorded a high of 44.9 degrees Celsius, three degrees against the normal, while the maximum temperature in Bhiwani stood at 44.4 degrees Celsius. Chandigarh recorded a maximum temperature of 42.5 deg C, up four notches below normal. In Punjab, Ludhiana reeled at 44.8 degrees Celsius, five degrees more than normal limits. Patiala recorded a maximum of 44 degrees Celsius, four notches above the normal.
The MeT has forecast a possibility of light rains at isolated places in the two states until Friday.