Pradhan’s SOS call to Union Min: Launch urgent measures to contain forest fires in Odisha
Bhubaneswar: Expressing deep concern over the raging incidents of forest fire in many parts of Odisha, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today urged Union Forest Minister Bhupendra Yadav for launching urgent measures to contain forest fires in the state.
In a letter to his cabinet colleague, Pradhan said that the sudden jump in the incident of forest fires in Odisha which continues to be ravaging forests across the State has caused massive loss of flora and fauna and severely affected wildlife as well.
“I seek your personal intervention in convening a meeting with officials of your Ministry and the State Government for launching urgent measures to contain and subdue forest fires in Odisha. We need to assess the damage to forest land, flora, fauna, as well as communities dependent on forests for their livelihood and take suitable remedial and reparative actions in this regard” Pradhan expressed.
Odisha has recorded 871 major wildfires since November 1, 2022, the beginning of forest fire season. This is also a national record for this year, followed by Andhra Pradesh (754), Karnataka (642), Telangana (447) and Madhya Pradesh (316). As of today, there are 1,840 wildfires occurred in Odisha.
Thirty-five percent of all forest fires in the country have been reported in the State, Pradhan added.
Such forest fires not only cause irreparable damage to the land’s flora and fauna, but also pose a serious threat to tribal and farming communities living on the periphery of forests.
Hence, coordinated action between the Central and the State governments has become imperative to contain the growing menace.
Notably, Pradhan also requested to set up an empowered committee with representatives from the Central and State forest department officials, environmentalists and forest conservationists for coming up with a detailed long-term action plan to prevent and mitigate future forest fires in Odisha.