States & UTs

    Uttarakhand Forest Fire: Air Force Helicopters Aid In Firefighting Efforts In Pauri Garhwal District

    Inam Ansari
    May7/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Uttarakhand Forest Fire

    Pauri Garhwal: As forest fires continue to rage parts of Uttarakhand, the Air Force helicopters are now carrying water from the Alaknanda River and sprinkling it in the Doob Srikot forests in different parts of the Pauri Garhwal district.
    Meanwhile, the state's Chief Secretary, Radha Raturi, announced on Monday a series of measures aimed at controlling the spread of the flames and mitigating further damage.
    "Incidents of forest fire have increased," said Raturi, acknowledging the alarming rise in fire incidents across the state.
    Raturi revealed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been called in to aid firefighting efforts, and plans are underway to implement a pilot cloud seeding project to induce rainfall in the affected regions. "CM held a meeting the day before. For compliance with those directions, the Forest Department has been informed. The Forest Department has given responsibility for each district to its senior officials. Pauri Garhwal is facing the worst. For that, DM Pauri has also spoken with the Air Force. IAF choppers are now carrying water from Srinagar and sprinkling it on the affected area," Raturi said.
    Raturi mentioned that the government is planning a pilot project to implement this technology in Uttarakhand, starting with the Pauri district.
    "We are also bringing in a new project - IIT Kanpur has experimented with cloud seeding. We are now trying to have rainfall through cloud seeding in Uttarakhand too so that forest fires come under control. We have spoken with the CM; he has agreed to a pilot project from Pauri," Raturi said.
    "We have a meeting with Forest Department officials at 4 pm today. CM has also given directions to not go for stubble burning and strict action will be taken against violators," Raturi said.
    Meanwhile, to prevent further incidents, the state government has banned the burning of agricultural residues and waste in urban areas. This ban comes in response to widespread stubble burning after wheat harvesting, which has been linked to the increased risk of forest fires. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has directed Chief Secretary Raturi to enforce strict penalties against those found violating these orders.
    After wheat harvesting, fire is set at many places to burn the stubble left in the fields, in view of this, the Chief Minister has given instructions to ban the burning of weeds, etc.
    Meanwhile, after the fire incident in the Dunagiri area of Almora, the situation has started to become normal, but the atmosphere is covered with smoke in the entire area. For the last 2 days, there was a massive fire in the forests of the area, due to which thousands of hectares of forest were burned to ashes, while some parts on the way to the famous Dunagiri temple area also caught fire, after which the fire was controlled with the help of local people and forest department employees. After the massive fire in the forest, the entire area was engulfed in smoke, due to which the devotees who came to the temple as well as the local people had to face a lot of problems.
    Earlier on May 4, the Chief Minister today held a video conference with the state government officials and all the district magistrates from Uttarakhand Sadan in New Delhi on important issues like forest fire, drinking water problem, upcoming Chardham Yatra and power supply. —ANI