Agra: With the mercury crossing the 44 degrees Celsius mark, the Agra district administration has ordered all schools till Class 8 to close by 11 am.
The order was passed by District Magistrate Zuher Bin Sagir in response to appeals from parents. Principals of schools would be held responsible if anything went wrong due to the heat, an official said as the temperature crossed 44 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

With the searing heat, Agra roads are virtually deserted by noon itself.

"With power and water crises defying resolution, the plight of the common man without means is a cause for concern. In winter, they have the night shelters, what about summer? The shady trees along the roads have disappeared. The shelters at the bus stands have been encroached upon. What should a pedestrian do?" asked social activist Devashish Bhattacharya.

Tourists who haven't done their research properly are suffering. "A group from the northeast had no idea about how oppressive Agra weather can be and had a tough time at the Taj. They just wanted to take a look and rush back to their hotel rooms. Normally, a tourist wants to spend several hours at the Taj Mahal. The sales of handicrafts have fallen, hotel owners are unhappy with tourist arrivals," said tourist guide Amit Sisodia.


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