Chief Minister Eknath Shinde told reporters that eight people who were sitting in the open at the Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony today died due to extreme heat.
Mr Shinde also visited a hospital where around 50 people have been admitted due to heat related health problems.
Home Minister Amit Shah presented the award instituted by the Maharashtra government to social activist Dattatreya Narayan. The event was held in Navi Mumbai, where the maximum day temperature was recorded at 38 degree Celsius.
Mr Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis also attended the event.
Thousands of followers of the social worker participated in the event at a huge ground in Navi Mumbai. The program started at 11.30 am and went on till 1 pm.
The ground was packed with people and was equipped with audio and video facilities for them to watch the event. However, there was no shortage of seating arrangements for the spectators.
Mr Shinde termed the incident as “unfortunate” and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of those killed.
“According to the briefing received from the doctors, 7-8 people have died today, while 24 are under treatment. This is the case of Lu. Around 50 people were admitted to the hospital, out of which 24 are still in the hospital. while the rest are in the hospital. Discharged after first aid,” Mr Shinde told reporters while coming out of the hospital.
Mr Fadnavis tweeted that the government would pay for the treatment of those suffering from heat-related illness.
Fadnavis tweeted in Marathi, “It is very unfortunate and painful that some members who attended the Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony died of heat stroke this morning… We share the grief of their families.”
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday said that the temperature in some parts of the country would increase by 3-5 degrees Celsius over the next five days.
India has also recorded the warmest February this year since record-keeping began in 1901, according to the IMD. However, above normal rains kept the temperature in check in March.