Udhagamandalam, popularly known as the Queen of Hills in Tamil Nadu, does not appear to be a cool respite this summer as a spike in temperature has left the sequestered hill station scorched.

Tourists brace for hot summer in Ooty, scorching heat at ‘Queen of Hills’ Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu (File Photo by Luke Bender on Unsplash)

This familiar haunt of tourists recorded its highest-ever temperature of 29 degree Celsius on April 29 and this was 5.4 degrees above the average temperature for Udhagamandalam, says Additional Director General, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Chennai, S Balachandran.

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The previous all-time high temperature of 28.5 degree Celsius was recorded on April 29, 1986.

The RMC has warned of heat wave conditions at isolated pockets over north interior Tamil Nadu and issued a yellow alert for heatwave conditions till May 3.

The meteorological department uses four colour codes – green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action) – for weather warning.

Erode district recorded the highest temperature of 42 degree Celsius while Chennai recorded 38.6 degree Celsius. Light rain has been predicted for the southern districts of Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli.

Tourists visiting the idyllic Ooty for a cool respite this summer were in for a surprise when the day temperature soared.

“The temperature at night was cooler, providing the needed relief to our guests,” Balaji, manager at a resort, said.

The hill station, also known as Ooty, the headquarters of Nilgiris district on the vibrant Western Ghats, would receive several hundreds of footfalls when the ten-day Ooty Flower Festival commences on May 10, he adds.

According to police, traffic regulation would be in place from May 1 and there will be 12 designated parking spaces.

The Madras High Court has directed the district collectors of Nilgiris an Dindigul to issue electronic passes (E-pass) for all vehicles entering the hill stations from May 7 to June 30 to monitor the influx of tourists.

On an average, about 11,509 cars, 1,341 vans, 637 buses and 6,524 two-wheelers enter the hill station during the tourist season, while 1,150 cars, 118 vans, 60 buses and 674 two-wheelers enter Nilgiris every day during the non-season period, the state government’s status report said.

According to Ram Kumar, director, Centre for Social Reconstruction, an non-governmental organisation, emphasis should be more on sustainable tourism practices and initiatives to address climate change.

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