‘We Don’t Have Planet B’: Rajasthan HC Urges Centre To Declare National Emergency Over Heatwave

The Rajasthan High Court, noting that hundreds of people died over weeks of harsh weather, has urged the Center to declare a national emergency in response to the current heatwave. A scorching heatwave has spread across India, with some cities seeing temperatures well above 45 degrees Celsius.

The Rajasthani court, which has had some of the hottest temperatures in recent days, said that the government had failed to take the necessary precautions to protect people from the heat. “Due to extreme weather conditions in the form of (the) heatwave, hundreds of people have lost their lives this month,”  it said Thursday.

“We do not have a planet B which we can move onto… If we do not take strict action now, we will lose the chance of seeing our future generations flourish forever.”

The state government was ordered by the court to establish compensation funds for the family members of anyone who passes away from heat ailments.

In its ruling on the present heatwave and such disasters in the future, it also stated that India should begin labelling them “national calamities”.

This would enable the mobilization of emergency help in a way similar to floods, cyclones and natural disasters.

India is no stranger to scorching summer temperatures, but years of scientific research have revealed that climate change is driving heatwaves to become longer, more frequent and more powerful.