Which are the worst cities in India

Climate change: India is suffering from the worst heat wave in living memory

New Delhi. Let's get away! Record temperatures of 48 degrees in the Indian capital New Delhi make the life of the more than 21 million inhabitants a torture. Those who can therefore flee to the mountain towns in the Himalayas - for example to Shimla or Manali, where there have been traffic jams for kilometers these days because thousands well-heeled Indians from Delhi and other cities in northern India were on their way to cooler climes. "Here the weather is pleasant, in contrast to the scorching heat on the plains," says Shimla tourist Isha Bhatnagar from the city of Chandigarh of the Hindustan Times. "This is the worst heat wave we've ever had."

Four cities in North India, Delhi, Churu, Banda and Allahabad, report temperatures of 48 degrees and more this week. In Churu, the limit of 50 degrees was exceeded twice. It was more than eight degrees warmer than normal at this time of the year. Banda was just below that with 49.2 degrees, Allahabad recorded 48.9 degrees and the capital Delhi reached a new record of 48 degrees on Monday. Well-off residents who cannot escape hide from the air conditioning. Electricity consumption reached a new record. Poor and destitute city dwellers, on the other hand, have to endure the heat hell. Thousands of construction workers, rickshaw drivers, street vendors and day laborers spend the day outdoors and have little chance of cooling off.

India officially speaks of a heat wave when the thermometer shows 45 degrees and more for two days in a row. A severe heat wave is a temperature of 47 degrees or more. Such extreme heat has become an increasingly common problem in recent years. Since 2004, the country, with a population of over 1.2 billion, has experienced eleven of the 15 warmest years since climate records began in 1901. Last week, 11 of the 15 hottest places on earth were in India, with the remaining four in neighboring Pakistan.

The number of heat victims is steadily increasing

The south of India is not spared either: In Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore, it used to be rarely warmer than 26 degrees in summer - but now the temperature in the metropolis is around 40 degrees. "Twenty years ago we didn't even have fans," says children's book author Srilata Menon. "Today we all use air conditioning. There is a big difference between the day and night temperatures. At night we have thunderstorms, during the day it gets very hot".