States & UTs

    Uttarakhand Forest Fire: SC Expresses Concern, Says 'Depending On Rain Not The Answer'

    Inam Ansari
    May8/ 2024
    Last Updated:


    New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) expressed concern on Wednesday about the fire in forest of Uttarakhand and said that cloud seeding, depending on rain, was not the answer to stop the fire.
    A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said cloud seeding, depending on rain not the answer and government has to take preventive measures. The bench while expressing concern on the fire in forest said that photographs and videos of fire are going viral. Uttarakhand government told the bench that there were 398 forest fires from November 2023 till today and all of them are man-made. It was further told that a total of 388 criminal cases have been lodged in connection with forest fires and 60 people have been names in these cases.
    Senior advocate-petitioner Rajiv Dutta told the bench that the condition in forest due to fire is devastating. "Five people have died," Dutta said, adding that people who have to douse fire don't have proper equipment. He said once fire is over the land mafia come to change the land use saying it's no longer a forest. The bench asked Uttarakhand government and petitioners to share their reports with Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and it will look into it and give its opinion.
    The apex court now posted the matter for hearing on May 15. The petitions highlighting the extent of forest fires in Uttarakhand have been pending in the Supreme Court for years. The apex court in 2021 had agreed to examine plea to direct the Uttarakhand government to take measures to prevent the occurrences of forest fires causing large-scale destruction of flora and fauna in the hill State. —ANI