DM to be made responsible for forest fire


Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has instructed all the District Magistrates to take effective steps to prevent the forest fire incidents. To review the incidents of forest fire, Chief Minister took a meeting of the Forest Department officials, in which all the District Magistrates were connected through video conferencing, at secretariat on Wednesday.

Taking to task the officials of the Forest Department, the Chief Minister asked them that what preparations they have made to prevent forest fires. He said that if the preparations were complete, why it failed to yield desired results. Snubbing the Nodal Officer, Forest Department V.P,Gupta and DFO Pauri, Chief Minister asked them to bring improvement in their functioning. He directed all the DMs that for the forest fires in their respective districts, accountability would be theirs. Chief Minister issued orders that performance, efforts to prevent the forest fires and their results would be registered in the Performance Appraisal Report of the Divisional Forest Officers. He said that DMs and Forest Department should connect with the local communities and with the assistance of the local populace, security of the forests can be ensured in an effective manner.

Chief Minister expressed dismay over the release of mere 50 per cent budget from the total sanctioned budget of Rs 12.37 crores for the preventing of incidents of forest fire. “Fire incidents are occurring now. For when are you saving money”, asked the Chief Minister, while directing that the remaining amount be provided to all the districts immediately. He told all the DMs that they should adequately utilize the money available in the Disaster Management System and Disaster Management Account.

Chief Minister said that under the Disaster Management Account, all the districts have been disbursed Rs 5 crore each and from 10 per cent of this amount, equipments can be purchased. He said that forest fire is not just the problem of the Forest Department. The problem should be tackled with the inter-department coordination and with full potential. He said that Forest Department should not wait for the monsoons and accelerate its efforts with from now only. He said that districts from where there is no report of active fire should also remain alert. Regarding the incidents of forest fire, the concerned nodal officer informed that till now 776 fire incidents have been registered, which has affected area measuring 1271 hectare. He said that 40 master control rooms have been set up.

In the meeting, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Ranveer Singh, Principal Secretary Radha Raturi, Secretary Amit Negi, Radhika Jha, Arvind Singh Hayanki, Additional Secretary Ashish Srivastava and officers of the Forest Department were present.


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