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Odisha's Similipal National Park management chalks out plan to tackle fire incidents

Mayurbhanj Collector Vineet Bhardwaj asked all departments to get involved and ensure that the vulnerable months from January to May go incident free.

Published: 18th December 2021 11:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2021 11:34 AM   |  A+A-

Similipal National Park

Similipal National Park (File Photo)

By Express News Service

BARIPADA: After instances of forest fire going out of control last year in and around Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district, the forest department along with district administration here is gearing up to stop any such recurrence this year.

At a meeting held recently under the chairmanship of Mayurbhanj Collector Vineet Bhardwaj in presence of all departments, an action plan was chalked out to prevent inferno in forests in future, informed Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) and Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) M Yogajayanand on Friday. 

Collector Vineet Bhardwaj asked all departments to get involved and ensure that the vulnerable months from January to May go incident free. The fire in the forests mostly take place due to people who go in search of collecting mahua flowers and also by anti-socials for vested interests, the RCCF added.

It was decided at the meeting to rope in SHGs and Youth Clubs besides the Vana Surakshya Samiti (VSS), local PRI members, community leaders in the action plan since there is a manpower shortage. Besides, sensitisation drive among forest dwellers and local representatives, tribal priests is underway in 130 villages close to forests, he added. Despite use of blower machines, fire lines and local manpower, NGOs, youth clubs have been trained in forest fire management. 

At least 13 ACFs, 21 range officers, 89 foresters, 209 forest guards and 380 protection assistants will also be kept in readiness. A control room has been set up at Jashipur for information related to forest fire, movement of elephants, rescue of disoriented injured wild animals and their crime.

For the purpose, a mobile number 7682806146 has also been made public through which incidents can be reported, the officer added. Last year's fire inside the park and its adjoining forests for days was a major challenge for the forest department.

Though the cause of fire is yet not been ascertained, the forest department arrested around four persons from different locations of Simlipal besides seizing  match boxes, nets and blades used for animal poaching.

Prevention  measures

  • Involving SHGs, Youth Clubs, Vana Surakshya Samiti (VSS), local PRI members, community leaders

  • 13 ACFs, 21 range officers, 89 foresters, 209 forest guards and 380 protection assistants in readiness

  • Sensitisation drive among forest dwellers,local representatives, tribal priests underway in 130 villages 



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