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States » North

CS forms Quick Response Team to combat Himachal forests fire

Shimla, May 9 (UNI) Chief Secretary BK Agarwal on Thursday said that the state government would form a Quick Response Team (QRT) Task Force to combat forest fires with the help of Home Guards.
Confirming the sudden spurt in the fire cases Chief Secretary Mr Agarwal said in a press statement issued here on Thursday that forest fire season has already begun and number of fire complaints are being registered daily.
He said that last year 122 forest fire cases were reported up to 30th April whereas only 27 cases of forest fires were reported this year up to 8th May in the State.
He said that Department is taking all possible measures to combat forest fires in the state as the dedicated QRT Task Force are being deployed to extinguish forest fires with the help of Home Guards.
That QRT to be deployed in 80 forest fire sensitive Forest Ranges in the State in addition to forest staff during the summer and dry season in the state.
He said that this QRT will be responsible to respond in case of emergency without any delay.
Chief Secretary was presiding over a meeting held here today to control forest fire in the State. He said that there are 196 forest ranges in Himachal Pradesh out of which 80 forest ranges are most sensitive and fire prone.
He said that fire brigade will also remain on alert to control forest fires along the roads and he directed the home guard to keep ready fire resistance kit including fire uniform etc.
B.K. Agarwal asked the forest officers to explore the new technology and methods to extinguish forest fire along with traditional ones. He said that local people should be recognized and honored at district level who renders help in controlling forest fires so that good massage goes to society.
He directed to integrate the Forest Control Room Number with the Control Room Number of State and District Disaster Management which is 1077 and 1070 respectively for quick dissemination of forest fire information to the concerned officers to respond immediately.
Additional Chief Secretary Forest Ram Subhag Singh said that the Forest is the most expensive treasure of Himachal Pradesh and it is our duty to protect and conserve it. Creation of dedicated QRT Task Force and inter-departmental cooperation will be a productive step towards protecting and conserving the forest of State.
He said that in all 28 fire sensitive forest divisions one vehicle with water tanks, lifting motors and pipes have been made available during forest fire season and second such vehicle would be provided soon.
He said that four vehicles were used for public awareness regarding forest fires and publicity campaigns through " Nukad Nataks" were held in 68 places of 11 districts excluding Lauhal & Spiti from 22nd March to 30th March, 2019 before forest fire season with the financial assistance of State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
PCCF Ajay Sharma told that a Rapid Forest Fire Force has been registered with Forest Survey of India (FSI) through which more than 11000 volunteers, NGOs and Members of PRIs receive SMS of forest fire alert in their area. He said that this figure is highest in country and likely to exceed 20000 in near future.
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