Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
In the wake of the forest fires in Uttarakhand, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the government had ordered the deployment of the National Disaster Response Force teams and helicopters in the state.
Shah also said that he had spoken to Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat and enquired about the fires.
Rawat said that there were forty incidents of fire across the districts of Nainital, Almora, Tehri Garhwal, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Dehradun, Haridwar, Baheshwar and Pauri Garhwal. Working to tackle the fires are around 12,000 forest workers and 1,300 fire crew stations. Rawat said he had asked the Centre to provide two choppers to get a handle on the situation and his request was granted.
It is a matter of concern that this time, the forests are burning 4.5 times faster than they did last year. The peak time for such fires is considered till June 15. So, there is a worry about the damage this will cause in the next three months.
More than 700 species of birds and animals are found in this area. Environmentalists said that nests of sparrows have been gutted and they feared for the survival of many bird species.
A total of 928 forest fires have been reported in the state in the last six months. Of these, 600 have been in the area of reserved forests, and another 350 in forest panchayat areas. It is estimated that the fires dealt a loss of Rs 40 lakh in the last six months.
(With inputs from Madhu Joshi, ANI and PTI)