States & UTs

    'Forest Fires Cannot Be Controlled Without Increasing Humidity,' Congress Leader Harish Rawat On U'khand Forest Fires

    Inam Ansari
    April29/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Forest Fires

    Dehradun: As several regions in Uttarakhand are grappling with forest fires, destroying hectares of forest land, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and Congress leader Harish Rawat said that forest fires cannot be controlled without increasing the humidity in the forest areas, and in 2015-16 they had come up with a comprehensive plan for the same.
    Rawat also accused the state government of not being serious about the raging forest fire. It's been two days since several incidents of fire were reported in Kumaon region of the hill state.
    In the past 24 hours, till 4pm on Sunday, the state reported eight forest fire incidents, including 4 in Kumaon region.
    "Among all the challenges the state is facing at present, fire is also a big challenge. There is already a drinking water crisis and our forest wealth is being destroyed. Biodiversity is being seriously affected but the government does not seem serious. At the time when we had made a comprehensive plan on how to increase the humidity in the forests in 2015-16. You cannot stop forest fires without increasing the humidity...There is mismanagement and neglect, the minister is on tour and there is no trace of him anywhere," said Rawat.
    Earlier, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a review meeting to discuss the forest fire situation with the Kumaon Division officials on Saturday and issued directives to combat the wildfire in the region.
    According to an official release, "Chief Minister Dhami reviewed the efforts to prevent forest fire with the officials of Kumaon Division at the Forest Training Academy Haldwani and gave strict instructions to the officers to prevent the forest fires."
    As per the Chief Minister's instructions, concerned officers were directed to remain alert at all times and the forest officers were restricted from going on leaves.
    Additionally, instructions were also provided not to call the officers engaged in the forest fire efforts to visit Dehradun for the meeting until the forest fire is contained.
    CM Dhami said that other departments besides the forest department should also remain on alert mode while efforts are underway to prevent the forest fires. The Chief Minister also said that the information system should be strengthened to prevent incidents of forest fires and a quick response team should be minimized.
    Adding ahead, he said that people's cooperation should be taken at the local level for effective prevention of forest fires.
    CM Dhami said that the army is also assisting the region in combating the wildfire situation and mentioned that strict instructions will be issued against those who are found guilty of setting fire in the forests.
    The Indian Army and Air Force helicopters are also assisting in controlling forest fires in the state. —ANI