Daytime cooking ban in India as heatwave claims 300 lives

    With sizzling temperatures claiming more than 300 lives this month in India, officials have banned daytime cooking in some parts of the drought-stricken country in a bid to prevent accidental fires that have killed nearly 80 more people.

    The eastern state of Bihar this week took the unprecedented step of forbidding any cooking between 9am and 6pm, after accidental fires exacerbated by dry, hot and windy weather swept through shantytowns and thatched-roof houses in villages and killed 79 people. They included 10 children and five adults killed in a fire sparked during a Hindu prayer ceremony in Bihar’s Aurangabad district last week.

    People were instead told to cook to night.

    Hoping to prevent more fires, officials have also banned the burning of spent crops and religious fire rituals. Anyone defying the ban risks up to a year in jail.

    “We call this the fire season in Bihar,” Vyas, a state disaster management official who goes by one name, said. “Strong, westerly winds stoke fires which spread easily and cause great damage.”

    Much of India is reeling under a weeks-long heat wave and severe drought conditions that have decimated crops, killed livestock and left at least 330 million Indians without

    Article source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/30/daytime-cooking-ban-in-india-as-heatwave-claims-300-lives

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