MADURAI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought status report from the State government on the causes and the action taken in the Kurangani fire mishap that claimed 23 lives.
A Delhi-based senior advocate Rajiv Dutta approached the National Green Tribunal submitted that the trekking was carried out in the reserve forest without the permission of the officials concerned and no proper mechanism was followed in putting out the forest fire.
The fire policy, as directed by the tribunal in earlier instances, was not followed and due to lack of crisis management plan for prevention and control of forest fires, the petitioner submitted that there was a possibility for such accidents to happen in the future.
Admitting the case, the Principal Bench comprising Acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim, Judicial Member - Justice S P Wangdi and Expert Member Nagin Nanda directed the State government to file a status report, in a week, on the causes and the action taken on the mishap.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court Bench at Madurai has granted anticipatory bail to Peter Van Geit, founder of Chennai Trekking Club, who was stated to be at large after the Kurangani forest fire on March 10 that claimed 23 lives. Allowing the anticipatory bail petition, Justice G R Swaminathan directed the petitioner to cooperate with police for the inquiry in the case.
Compensation to victims
The petitioner prayed the court for a direction to the forest dept to file their ‘State police vis a vis National policy on Forest Fire’ and to order adequate compensation to the victims of the forest fire