Cashew plantation set afire by miscreants near Bhitarkanika National Park
Mahakalapada forest range officer, Sahaji Charan Biswal said the damage to the plantation is extensive.
KENDRAPARA: Cashew plantation spread over five acre of land was set on fire suspectedly by some miscreants at Bahakuda village within Mahakalapada forest range near Bhitarkanika National Park, causing much damage to plantation on Thursday.
The fire was brought under control by forest and fire personnel after a few hours.
Mahakalapada forest range officer, Sahaji Charan Biswal said the damage to the plantation is extensive. “We suspect some locals set the forest on fire that had large tracts of cashewnut trees,” he said.
Several cashew, other fruit bearing trees and vegetation went up in flames simultaneously posing threat to wild animals in the forest.
Fire personnel and forest official doused the fire by digging deep ditches around the affected area.
“We had to set up camps at several locations and sought cooperation from locals to bring the fire under control,” Biswal said. Ranjit Mandal, a local said, we are close to the forest but could not enter it to douse the fire.
Around 10 cashew farmers had obtained lease from Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation Limited to grow cashewnut in the forest.