As the fire incidents on a rise and due to scorching summer, the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government issued an advisory to the people, not to cook food between 9 am and 6 pm, not even light fire for ‘havan and puja’.  The state also published an advertisement to announce the advisory.

On the move, the state government said the advisory will help in preventing fire incidents which have increased unusually high during the westerly winds in April.

As it was difficult to make every village aware about the advisory issued by the Disaster Management Department, the state government on Wednesday issued advertisements in local newspapers asking the people to avoid cooking between 9 am and 6 pm, as well as avoid any religious programmes like ‘vagina’ during the daytime.

So far, at least 60 people have died and 13,000 houses damaged in numerous fire incidents in April in the state. The Disaster Management Department official said this decision has been taken to make people aware of safety guidelines and also fix their responsibility for the fire incidents.

The Disaster Management Department official also cited the penal provisions for those who oppose the advisory. He added, Section 51 of the Disaster Management law has provisions of imprisonment for one year or fine or both if someone refuses to comply with any direction given by any central or state agencies.

In a recent incident that took place in the Begusarai district two days ago, over 300 huts were burnt.

The police officials at the village level said enforcing such an order is difficult but the threat of punishment may encourage villagers to follow it on their own.

So far, across the country, heat waves have killed more than 100 people especially in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.

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