A few days after six people were killed in two separate incidents of fire in Bihar's Lakhisarai and Darbhanga districts, the state government on Thursday issued an advisory telling people not to cook or conduct any puja, havan or any religious activity between 9 am and 6 pm in rural areas.
PTI reported that the advisory asked people "not to light fire between 9 am and 6 pm and observe 'havan' and puja before nine in the morning."
"Summer at its peak and accidents happen due to fire," ANI quoted Vyasji, Principal Secretary, Disaster Management, as saying.
"The advisory has been issued for those living in rural areas not to cook food, offer puja or even burn wheat crop leftovers on agricultural fields after 9 am and before 6 pm because the intense heat wave blowing during this period stokes fire," The Hindu quoted an official of the state's Disaster Management Department as saying.
Reacting to this government decision, Satender Bind, who lost his hut in a fire in a village in Bihar's Jehanabad district, told NDTV, "It sounds fine but I wonder how many people will follow it. There are practical difficulties. But yes... I did lose my home in a fire and it started from someone's cooking."
Over 700 houses had been gutted due to the Darbhanga fire.
Four children were charred to death after fire broke out at Pokhrawan village under Kajra police station of Lakhisarai district, Kajra police SHO Ranjit Kumar had said.
The fire was caused by an electrical spark at a villager's home during cooking which also spread to neighbouring Ranjit Thakur's home, the SHO had said.
The flames were so severe that all the four children including goods were reduced to ashes and that's why the bodies could not be recovered, he added.
With inputs from PTI