'Lackadaisical approach': Supreme Court slams Uttarakhand govt over forest fires | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

'Lackadaisical approach': Supreme Court slams Uttarakhand govt over forest fires

May 15, 2024 03:50 PM IST

Uttarakhand forest fire: The Supreme Court also sought an explanation from the Uttarakhand government on why central funds were not utilised for dousing fires

The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned the Uttarakhand chief secretary to appear before it on May 17 over the ‘lackadaisical’ approach shown by the Uttarakhand government in tackling fires.

NDRF personnel try to control a fire that broke out in the forest of Pauri Garhwal district on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.(PTI)
NDRF personnel try to control a fire that broke out in the forest of Pauri Garhwal district on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.(PTI)

The top court directed that no state shall deploy forest officials or forest department vehicles for poll duty.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The Supreme Court has also sought an explanation on why central funds were not utilised for dousing fires as out of over 9 crore disbursed by Centre last year, only 3.14 crore was spent on preventing forest fires.

The chief secretary has also been asked to explain large vacancies in the forest department, lack of fire fighting equipment, and deployment of forest officials despite specific exemption granted by Election Commission.

ALSO READ: Relying on ‘rain god’ no solution: SC to Uttarakhand as forest fires rage

The bench headed by Justice BR Gavai and also comprising Justices SVN Bhatti and Sandeep Mehta, observed that though multiple action plans are prepared, no steps are taken for their implementation.

The top court's tough stance comes in the wake of the wildfires that have hit the hill state this summer. On May 9, the head of forest force Dhananjay Mohan said that five people had lost their lives while 1,300 hectares of land were affected due to the forest fires.

“The situation of forest fire is currently under control. Forest department personnel are reaching on time at the accident spot. So far 388 cases have been registered in forest fires and 60 cases have been named,” Mohan had told news agency ANI.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had launched the Pirul Lao-Paise Pao Mission last week. Under this campaign, to prevent forest fires, the Pirul (leaves from the Pine Tree) lying in the forest will be collected by the local villagers and youth, weighed, and then stored at the designated Pirul Collection Centre.

On Wednesday, the chief minister said on X,"One of the main reasons for forest fires is Pirul. For its disposal, we are running a campaign along with the common people. Under the campaign 'Pirul lao, Paise pao', a large number of people are collecting Pirul and selling it to the government at the rate of 50 per kg."

“Its widespread effect is also being seen. At present, due to this campaign, the incidents of forest fire have reduced significantly and the villagers living near the forest area are also earning income,” Dhami added.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections News, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On