Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 22, 2018-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

60 people booked for setting forest afire, highest in Pauri

Giving credence to the fact that several cases of blaze breaking out in forests were man-made, forest officials have till date booked 60 people for intentionally setting vegetation on fire. This, however, is one fifth of total 300 people booked in 2016

dehradun Updated: May 30, 2018 22:12 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
The forest fire season in state began on February 15. In 2016, forest fires had burnt down over 4,500 hectare of vegetation.(HT File Photo)

Giving credence to the fact that several cases of blaze breaking out in forests were man-made, forest officials have till date booked 60 people for intentionally setting vegetation on fire. This, however, is one fifth of total 300 people booked in 2016.

The accused were booked under Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1972, and Section 3 of The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984. The Section 26 of the IFA states that anyone caught for starting forest fire can be booked and jailed for two years or slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 fine, or both.

Similarly, Section 3 of The Prevention of Damage to Public Property act 1984 pertains to causing damage to public property and is punishable with imprisonment up to five years and fine.

Both the sections are bailable.

Giving details, officials said the district administration in Pauri have registered cases against 50 unidentified people for starting forest fires in several areas. In addition, the forest department has booked four more people there. Three people were booked in Mussoorie, two in Pithoragarh and one in Uttarkashi they said.

“Compared to 2016, this year the number of offenders is low. It is because we conducted campaigns and drives in villages across the state sensitising them against starting fires in either their farms or at other places,” B P Gupta, nodal officer for forest fire, said.

In 2016, over 4500 hectare forest was gutted in 2074 wildfires incidents reported. This year, until 2 pm on Wednesday, over 4200 hectare had been gutted in 1958 incidents posing revenue loss of over Rs 81.36 lakh.

The loss includes 54.7 hectare of plantation area where fire damaged over 1600 saplings. Besides, the resin godowns have also recorded loss of 585 hectare.

First Published: May 30, 2018 22:12 IST