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Coping with hot spell.

Pakistan, May 25 -- With the burning end-of-May sun blazing fire and mercury shooting up, Peshawar had the hottest day on Monday of the mid-summer spell. Like Larkana, where the maximum temperature was recorded as 51 degrees of Centigrade, many other cities are experiencing the extreme weather. From the sweating peasants harvesting wheat in the rural hinterland of the country to the engine drivers of Pakistan Railways that have to sit from Peshawar to Karachi in the oven-hot locomotives pulling express trains, everyone has a heart-rending story to tell. With Wapda resorting to heavy load management, the frequent power shut-downs add to the miseries of the people. Absence of electricity obviously means a concomitant absence of drinking water. With refrigerators and air-conditioners tripping every few minutes, the kitchens and drawing rooms have the same sticky suffocation. Worst-hit by the summer heat are the women and children caught up in the traffic jams especially those caused by the police barricades. The condition at the Mall-Garrison Club Chowk is simply chaotic. Bending over their petrol-starved motorbikes, the traffic constables in smelly uniforms adjust dusty wireless sets to their ears and shout profanities at the tobacco-chewing bus drivers. The anti-encroachment staff has shooed away the familiar music-loving boys that hawked lemonade at road bends. With open beaks, the tiny birds hop from one water-tap to the other in search of water but the apologetic tube-well operator looks at his watch to see if it is time to switch on the water machine. Pigeons flutter around the ground man watering rose plants in the park. Labourers contribute money and manage the midday food under the mulberry tree. In sizzling heat, the poor do not want the ice cream. They only want the steady power supply and the functioning tube-wells. With these two facilities, they can brave the climatic cruelties.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from The Statesman. For more information on news feed please contact Sarabjit Jagirdar at

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Publication:The Statesman (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 25, 2010
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