Sunday, February 12, 2017

ODISHA TO UPDATE CMP TO COMBAT FOREST FIRE Friday, 10 February 2017 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

Friday, 10 February 2017 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar
With summer months approaching, the Odisha Government is updating its Crisis Management Plan (CMP) to combat forest fire in the State.
Though several State Governments have not prepared CMP, Odisha is one of the few States, which has a CMP in place. However, it needs updating, said sources.
In the State, CMP was prepared way back in 2012, which needs updating keeping in view the changing environment and present requirements, said officials.
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF and CC) has also prepared detailed guidelines for preparation of CMP and accordingly updating will be done, said sources.
Several major fire incidents have been occurring in the State, causing huge damage to forest and wildlife resources.  Similipal and other forest areas face fire regularly during summer months.
There are several causes of forest fire including fire started by people while collecting mahua flower and honey and the poachers set fire to forest to catch wild animals
During 2016, in the months of April, May and June incidents of fire occur resulting huge damage to forest cover in several parts of Similipal, Kuldiha, Raibania, Daitary, Kerandimal and Rukhi forests.
Now the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is asking the State Governments to prepare a CMP, so that such a menace would be avoided.
NGT in its recent order has expressed strong concern over poor response from the State Governments, who have not prepared CMP and asked the authorities to immediately prepare the CMP to take care of the fire menace in the forests.
After receiving the orders, MoEF and CC has asked the State Governments and Union Territories to prepare CMP and come down for discussion with the MoEF.
Senior officials of Department of Forest and Environment of the State Government will be meeting MoEF and CC officials on February 10, sources said.
CMP includes steps for remedy and prevention of fire in forests, which includes drawing fire lines, engagement of Vana Surakshya Samiti volunteers and forest staff to douse fires and installation of fire blower machines, officials said.
Experts said that using modern technology in the form of satellite imagery and improved communication systems to alert the field staff immediately when fire starts.

“As the mobility in hilly terrain is a major challenge and we need to find ways to overcome that with provisions of additional vehicles, both four and two-wheelers should be made available for the fast movement of fire fighting squads,” they opined.

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