Rising forest fire sweats NGT; directs Environment Ministry to furnish report

Increasing incidents of forest fires in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir have become a topic of concern. Also, the National Green Tribunal has sought a report from the Union Environment Ministry.

A bench headed by NGT judicial member S.P. Wangdi said, “The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) shall produce a data of incidences of forest fire in the last five years and identify the hotspots of such incidences.”

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Additionally, the bench sought a report on the preventive steps taken by the Centre and the State governments in accordance with previous orders passed by the National Green Tribunal.

Directing authorities to file the report within 10 days, the bench directed the Inspector General of Forest (In charge, Forest Protection and Forest Fire) to be present before the tribunal on May 28.

In just 24 hours, around 79 wildfire incidents have been reported from different areas in the state incinerating at least 80 hectares of forest. Uttarakhand itself has already reported 295 forest fires leading to loss of over Rs 5 lakh.

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Chief conservator PK Singh says, “Temperatures across the state have risen by at least 4 degrees. Apart from this, there have been no rains since last week. These two factors are major contributors to the spike in forest fire incidents we have registered in the last two days. We have all our resources at work to control the fires and prevent the loss of flora and fauna across the state.”


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