Channel NewsAsia

India’s heatwave worsens

India's heatwave has intensified, particularly in the north, with temperatures hitting above 40 degrees Celsius.

INDIA: India's heatwave has intensified, particularly in the north, with temperatures hitting above 40 degrees Celsius.

The heat has not only forced locals indoors, but also led to a water crisis in the Poonch region along the India-Pakistan border.

Many cities in North India are recording their highest temperatures in years.

Some experts feel the sudden rise in temperatures is the outcome of rapid urbanisation -- partly due to an unrestrained increase of vehicles on the roads as well as large-scale construction eating into green patches.

This means higher levels of carbon dioxide are being trapped in the atmosphere, raising pollution levels to the point that “intense heatwaves” are created.

Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment, said: "The number of vehicles has increased exponentially, and the number of diesel vehicles has increased.

“And diesel is particularly extremely toxic -- it is also the key reason why there are such high levels of particulate pollution in the city of Delhi."

While Delhi may be far away from the Himalayas, the problem has reached the hilly regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

Once rich in water supply, rivers are drying up in the heat -- leaving villagers in the Poonch district with a water crisis.

Abdul Rehman, a villager in Poonch district, said: "Our girls have to travel 6-8 miles every day to fetch water. There is water in areas 8-10 miles from here but there is no water in our area. Earlier, a water tanker used to come but now we don't even get that."

With no rain predicted in the next few days, the water shortage looks set to intensify, along with the heat. 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia