Home Dehradun CM orders posting of nodal officers to prevent incidents of forest fires

CM orders posting of nodal officers to prevent incidents of forest fires


By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 2 May: More than a fortnight after the forest fires started raging across the state, the government finally held a review meeting on the issue, today, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal also attended the meeting at the Secretariat.
The Chief Minister directed that to prevent forest fires, senior officers of the forest department should be made nodal officers at the earliest in the districts affected by forest fire. He also ordered that continuous field visits be ensured of DFOs in the areas under their jurisdiction. Dhami further asked the Forest Officials to also seek public cooperation as well from revenue, police and other related departments in curbing fires. Cooperation also should be taken from Mahila Mangal Dals, Yuvak Mangal Dals, Self Help Groups and Aapada Mitras in preventing forest fires. He stressed on using the latest technology to prevent forest fires, and the response time minimised. The responsibility of the officers should be fixed to prevent incidents of forest fire during the Chardham Yatra.
The Chief Minister added that the Sheetlakhet (Almora) model be adopted to prevent forest fires. The people of Shitlakhet have taken an oath to protect the forests and forest resources from fire. They have further pledged that they would not burn waste and agricultural residue in their agriculture fields throughout the fire season. The CM said that, in Sheetlakhet area, besides the villagers, the Mahila Mangal Dal and Yuvak Mangal Dal had also taken the oath to save the forests. This ensured protection from fires.
The CM directed the forest department to make both long-term and short-term plans to prevent forest fires. The long-term plans needed to be made in coordination with research institutes and universities.
The Chief Minister said that everyone would have to work with a new work culture and discipline for the development of the state. Along with the conservation of forest resources, there is a need to pay special attention to how the livelihood of people could be ensured from forest resources. A concrete policy is needed for the collection of Pine needles and to plan how the livelihood of the people could be based on them. A model plan had to be prepared for forest and environment protection in the state that could become an example for the country and the world, he declared. Effective efforts were required for the protection of wildlife and conservation of water sources. Extra-Curricular activities needed to be included also in schools to raise awareness about prevention of forest fires and environmental protection.
Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal said that officers ought to pay special attention to ensuring public participation to prevent incidents of forest fire. A well-planned strategy should connect the economy of the people with forest resources. Forest fire management committees needed to be formed in forest panchayats.
Additional Chief Secretary Radha Raturi, Principal Secretary RK Sudhanshu, Principal Forest Conservator Vinod Kumar Singhal, senior officers of Forest Department including Chief Conservator (Environment and Forest Fires) Nishant Verma, Garhwal Commissioner Sushil Kumar were also present, while the DMs, SSPs and SPs and the DFOs were present on virtual basis.