In view of severe thunderstorm warning on Tuesday, the Haryana government has cancelled leave of all officials in municipalities across the state.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued an alert forecasting thunderstorm and squall on Tuesday with winds gusting up to 50-70 km per hour in several parts of North India. Fire and other emergency services have been directed to remain prepared for disaster management.
The state government issued the directions after a meeting of Haryana Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain with senior officers of her department in Chandigarh.
The meeting was called to review security arrangements in view of the IMD alert.
Addressing the meeting, Jain said it is the responsibility of the state government to make people aware and to take precautionary steps to prevent any kind of loss to lives and property. She directed that all officials concerned should discharge their duties with utmost dedication.
The IMD issued an amber-coloured alert, indicating severe weather, for parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, western Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal.
Several parts of these states could witness thunderstorm and squall with winds gusting up to 50-70 kilometers per hour, the alert said.
Meanwhile, Director of the Chandigarh MeT Department Surinder Paul said that rainfall activity is likely to pick up in the region from tonight.
"There is no need to panic, but we need to be watchful and remain alert," Paul said.
Notably, the Haryana government had ordered closure of schools on May 7 and 8, with Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma yesterday saying that the decision had been taken in view of the MeT warning.
While there were no instructions by the authorities to close schools in Chandigarh, but some schools took the decision on their own and announced a holiday today as a precautionary measure.
Many schools here announced a holiday minutes before the educational institutes were to open, forcing many students to return to their homes.
Meanwhile, the weather remained generally dry today and winds remained calm in most parts of Punjab and Haryana.
(With inputs from PTI)