New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, March 10: Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said a three-member expert committee will be sent to Odisha to provide technical assistance for effective management of forest fire incidents in the state.
“@moefcc is sending a committee of experts to Odisha to give technical advise & help out state forest dept. in effective management of forest fire incidents in the region,” tweeted Javadekar after after Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP MPs from Odisha met him in the national capital and submitted a memorandum to him seeking his personal intervention in containment of fire in Simlipal National Park and other forests in the State.
The team consists of Dr. Amit Mallick, IGF, National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi, Subratt Mahapatra, DDG, MoEF&CC Regional Office, Bhubaneswar and Arti Chaudhary, Head, Silviculture –ICFRE (as fire expert), said an MoEF&CC communiqué.
The initial Terms of Reference (ToR) for the team would be the assessment of the status of fire incidents in Odisha, Similipal Tiger Reserve / Biosphere Reserve in particular, expert and technical advice to the State for containment in control of fire in forest area status of loss of forest and wildlife and its relationship with poaching, if any.
“Will be reviewing the situation with my team at @moefcc on a daily basis,” the Union Minister also tweeted.
Wildfires have spread across multiple forest areas in the State – mainly the Similipal Reserve. As per reports, it has been more than 10-15 days since the fire broke out in the tiger reserve located in Mayurbhanj district. In May 2009, this national reserve was added in UNESCO’s list of Biosphere Reserve.