At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has told the Supreme Court. Authorities say this number is likely to rise further given that some states with water shortages have not yet submitted status reports. The drought is taking place as a heat wave extends across much of India with temperatures crossing 40C for days now. An 11-year-old girl died of heatstroke while collecting water from a village pump in the western Maharashtra state.
India is heavily dependant on monsoon rains, which have been poor for two years in a row. The government said that nearly 256 districts across India, home to nearly a quarter of the population were impacted by the drought. Schools have been shut in the eastern state of Orissa and more than 100 deaths due to heatstroke have been reported from across the country, including from the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which saw more than 2,000 deaths last summer.