Similipal Sanctuary fire: Odisha CM asks officials to take preventive measures
One of the largest biospheres of India, the Similipal Biosphere, was under the threat of being extremely damaged by a fire that started in isolated areas of Similipal in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district in the first week of February. However, after a review meeting of chief minister Naveen Patnaik and senior officials, the government has given assurance that the fire is now under control.
During the meeting, the CM instructed officials to take preventive action in order to ensure such incidents are not repeated in the future. "Similipal is not only a treasure trove of Odisha or India but also an invaluable asset of the whole world," he said, according to news agency ANI.
Additional chief secretary, department of forests and environment, Dr Mona Sharma gave the CM a status report and said that the blaze has been brought under control and no casualties have been reported.
"No casualties were reported. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been issued to control the fire and no major trees have been damaged," Sharma said, adding that the PCCF Wildlife is monitoring the situation at the spot.
Earlier, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan had requested for the urgent attention of Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar towards the matter.
"Distressed to learn about the forest fires raging in Simlipal Tiger Reserve from social media platforms. Request the urgent attention of Union Minister for Environment & Forest, Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on this alarming situation at one of the most important biosphere reserves of the country," he tweeted.
Javadekar responded to the appeal and said that "he has ordered officers to take immediate action."