+

Approach lackadaisical: SC Criticizes Uttarakhand Govt Over Forest Fires

While hearing the plea of Nainital resident Nita Pawar, the Supreme Court has recently expressed criticism towards the state government's management of the situation. The court described the government's approach as “lackadaisical.” The apex court further reprimanded the government for failing to implement measures despite having prepared action plans. Later, the court comprising of Justices […]

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

While hearing the plea of Nainital resident Nita Pawar, the Supreme Court has recently expressed criticism towards the state government's management of the situation. The court described the government's approach as “lackadaisical.”

The apex court further reprimanded the government for failing to implement measures despite having prepared action plans.

Later, the court comprising of Justices SVN Bhatti and Sandeep Mehta, also flagged existence of huge vacancies, in Uttarakhand's forest department and declared, it needs to be addressed.

Addressing the plea, Niti Pawar alleged that the wildfires have not only destroyed 1,144 hectares of the state's forest land within six months but also filled nearby regions with smoke and haze.

Consequently, this is triggering mental and physical health issues such as anxiety, burning sensations in the eyes, respiratory problems, and depression, particularly among children and the elderly.

Recounting her experience, the complainant said, “Instances of people being referred from Champawat to Delhi due to breathing problems had also surfaced.”

However, as per the officials, these forest fire incidents are man-made disasters. It is reported that locals sometimes set grasslands ablaze to clear land for agriculture or livestock grazing, which can lead to larger forest fires.

Additionally, the scant rainfall this pre-monsoon season has contributed to the loss of soil moisture. Officials have also noted that dry leaves, pine needles, and other flammable materials in the forest contribute to the spread of fires.

Later, the court has also asked the Uttarakhand's chief secretary to be present before the court on May 17.

Uttarakhand Forest Fire

The recent Uttarakhand Forest fire occurred in Pauri Garhwal, is one of 998 incidents which are recorded by state's forest department since November 2023. 68 of them, occurred between May 6 and 7 alone.

The fire has affected 1,196 hectares of forest land till now. Once, known for its lush green area, Pauri Garhwal district in now filled with charred and black patches.

Tags:

Supreme CourtTDGIndia HeraldUttarakhand Forest Fire