‘Coordinate with van panchayats, NGOs to control forest fires’

Dehradun, June 11 (Newssline Channel)
In the backdrop of a sudden rise in incidents of forest fires, Forest Minister Dinesh Agarwal today directed the officials concerned to take all possible measures to tackle such cases.
While presiding over a meeting of forest department officials here today, the minister said Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s directives to set up a permanent task force to deal with forest fires must be implemented promptly.
The meeting also decided to ensure the availability of Rs 10 lakh to every forest division of the state to effectively deal with forest fires. The minister talked to the Chief Secretary over the phone and asked him to direct all District Magistrates to ensure proper cooperation on part of the district authorities towards tackling forest fires.
The minister directed the district authorities not to take forest rest houses under their control during summer months as they are needed for the forest officials during these months.
Dinesh Agarwal asked officials to take all support from Van Panchayats and NGOs so as to ensure timely action in case of forest fires.
He appealed to the public, particularly those living alongside forest areas, to promptly inform the forest officials in case of forest fires near them. The minister also directed for setting up fire crew stations in high-altitude areas and asked for ensuring availability of all firefighting equipment with forest officials on field.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) SS Sharma, PCCF, Wildlife. Anil Kumar Dutt, PCCF, Van Panchayat Rajendra Kumar and Conservator of Forests, Garhwal, BP Gupta were present on the occasion. — TNS

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