Home Uttarakhand CM reviews forest fires, Char Dham Yatra preparations, water and power supply situation

CM reviews forest fires, Char Dham Yatra preparations, water and power supply situation

Senior officers made accountable for forest fires
By Our Staff Reporter
New Delhi, 4 May: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a virtual meeting today from the Uttarakhand Sadan Guest House in New Delhi, with top officials of the state government and all the District Magistrates on crucial issues like forest fire, drinking water problem, upcoming Chardham Yatra, electricity supply etc in the state.  During the meeting, he issued necessary guidelines to the officers concerned.
CM stresses on fixing accountability of officers for forest fires
Regarding forest fires in the state, the Chief Minister observed that forest fires have emerged as a big challenge in the state this year. Taking a serious note of the same, he directed Chief Secretary Radha Raturi to fix the accountability and responsibility of officers from top to bottom in this matter. The Chief Minister said that the responsibilities of the divisions should be distributed among all the officers posted at the headquarters level and regular reports should be taken from all of them. He said that the District Magistrate should also fully cooperate with the Forest Department in the work of preventing and controlling forest fires.
Dhami stressed that there is need to ensure that safety measures are taken for the fire watchers working in the field and for this, options like insurance etc should be considered for them. Also, it should be ensured that DFO and higher level officers visit the spots. He categorically stated that the fires cannot be controlled by sitting in the office. Whatever strict action needs to be taken for this, it must be taken.  The CM also directed the District Magistrates to take due decisions according to the circumstances.
The Chief Secretary assured the Chief Minister that positive results would be seen in the matter of forest fire within a week. The Chief Minister was informed by the newly appointed Head of the Forest Force (HoFF) Dr Dhananjay Mohan that till now a total of 350 cases have been registered in forest fire incidents, out of which 60 cases are such where the accused are named. He said that wherever the incident is being reported, teams are being sent immediately and the fire is being brought under control within one to six hours. In the meeting, the Chief Secretary also informed the Chief Minister that the state government has signed an agreement with NTPC regarding Pirul (Pine needles) and NTPC has also started procuring the Pirul from the state. It may be pertinent to point here that pine needles in the forests having pine trees are a major reason for rapid spread of fires in these forests. The Chief Secretary claimed that the agreement will also prove to be effective in preventing spread of forest fires in the future.
CM directs impeccable arrangements for Char Dham Yatra
While reviewing the preparations for the Chardham Yatra, the Chief Minister said that the Chardham Yatra is both a challenge and a time of testing for the state as a huge number of pilgrims visit the Char Dham every year. He directed DGP Abhinav Kumar to ensure that the security personnel deployed in the temple premises behave well with the devotees and take proactive action to help the pilgrims in case of any such requirement. He said that any devotee who departs from the state after visiting and staying in the state and in particular the Char Dham shrines should should take a good message with him.
Dhami observed that the first 15 days of the journey are very challenging for the state and added that necessary instructions have already been issued for this. There should be minimal movement of VIPs in these 15 days. He said that every kind of information about Chardham should be disseminated as much and as quicky as possible so that the pilgrims do not have to face any kind of problems. The CM directed the District Magistrates concerned to take special care of cleanliness on the Yatra routes. The Chief Secretary informed the CM that additional sanitation workers have been deployed on the Yatra route by District Magistrate Rudraprayag. The Chief Minister issued instructions to deploy adequate number of doctors and paramedical staff on a rotation basis to provide necessary health services along the Yatra routes and in the Char Dham shrines. Dhami also observed that a large number of complaints are being received regarding the heli services and emphasised that there is a need to take strict action on this. DGP Abhinav Kumar informed that DIG Law and Order has also been given the responsibility for traffic management. In view of the traffic jams on the route of Laxman Jhula, Muni Ki Reti, Shivpuri, SP Rural of Dehradun has been appointed as the nodal officer. Additional SP Kotdwar and CO Narendra Nagar will also support him. The Chief Minister said that all departments and officers should take ownership and work with a positive spirit.
CM also directs necessary measures to deal with drinking water woes
In the meeting, the Chief Minister was informed by Secretary Drinking Water Arvind Singh Hyanki that a total of 317 villages and 148 localities in urban areas in the state have been identified where there is shortage of drinking water and efforts are being made to supply drinking water in these areas through various options. He also shared that the maximum number of complaints are being received from Dehradun, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Didihat, Kotdwar, Champawat.  Hyanki also shared that a ban on granting commercial water supply connections for the construction activities has been enforced from 1 April to 30 June. All the DMs have been directed to ensure that vehicles are dry washed in the workshops.
Additional Chief Secretary Anand Vardhan said that all the District Magistrates have been given the target of identifying 10 natural water resources and reviving them. Similarly, 10 small rivers are being identified at the state level which can be revived. He shared that the Government of India is going to start a water conservation campaign from 1 to 7 June, preparations for which are also underway at the state level.
Dhami observed that water conservation is a challenge for everyone and for Uttarakhand too. He said that arrangements for rain water harvesting and solar energy should be ensured in all government buildings. He said that the real challenge is yet to surface with regards to drinking water, hence make the preparations strong from now on.
Dhami directs full repairs of Yatra Routes before Yatra commencement
The Chief Minister said that before the commencement of Chardham Yatra on 10 May, all the roads should be made ready to welcome the Yatra traffic and the roads should be in a sparkling condition. PWD Secretary Pankaj Pandey informed the CM that field visits are being conducted regularly by the Additional Secretary and other officers. The Chief Minister said that it should be ensured that the condition of all the roads should be fine by 10 May.
CM reviews power supply situation in the state
Secretary Energy R Meenakshi Sundaram shared that 24 hours seven days a week power supply will be ensured at all the Char Dham shrines during the Yatra season. For this, two senior officers have been deputed for Chardham duty. He informed that the construction of 23 KV sub station in Kedarnath and Badrinath Dhams is in progress. The Chief Minister said that more electricity will be required in the coming days, for this, the state must work on both short and long term plans.