CHENNAI: The State government has appointed Atulya Misra, Principal secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, as inquiry officer to probe the forest fire at Kottagudi Reserve Forest in Theni district, which claimed 11 lives so far. Nasimuddin, principal secretary, Department of Environment and Forests, has issued an order in this regard.
“The circumstances leading to the incident, as well as trekking activity without proper permission from forest department in forest fire prone area needs to be enquired into in detail, so as to enable the government to take further action in the matter,” the order said. The top bureaucrat will look into circumstances leading to the tragic incident, procedure established in forest department for regulation/permission for trekking in reserved forest area, role and lapses, if any, on part of trekking organisers and forest officials.
The official will submit his recommendations to avoid such incidents in future. The report should be sent to the government in two months, the order said.