Union and State Government Work to Control Simlipal Forest Fires

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and a delegation of MPs from Odisha met Union Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar demanding his intervention in the issue of Simlipal forest fires.

The Union Ministry had recently asked for a detailed report of the Simlipal forest fires. In answer, the Odisha government on March 3 claimed no loss of life. Patnaik had instructed officials to be vigilant and take all precautionary measures to combat the forest fire.

To bring the situation under control, the Centre has appointed a three-member team that will assist the state government. The team consists of Amit Mallick, Inspector-General, Forests, National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi, Subratt Mahapatra, Deputy Director-General, MoEF&CC Regional Office, Bhubaneswar, and Arti Chaudhary, Head, Silviculture, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (as fire expert).

Prakash Javadekar took to Twitter saying, “Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is sending a committee of experts to Odisha to give technical advice & help out-state forest department in the effective management of forest fire incidents in the region. The experts will work in coordination with the deployed team for early and effective dousing of fire. Will be reviewing the situation with my team at MoEF&CC on a daily basis.”

According to preliminary observations from experts, a heated February with above-average temperatures and dry vegetation fuelled the wildfires this year in Simlipal. The forest reserve area frequently sees forest fires during dry and hot weather conditions.

Patnaik recently addressed the importance of Simlipal in a CMO-released statement by saying that “Simlipal is not only a treasure trove of Odisha or India but also an invaluable asset for the whole world”.

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