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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of Earth Day, the state government has decided to launch a program under which villagers living close to fire-prone forests will be given incentives for tackling forest fire in a bid to prevent major loss to forest cover.

At a special program to mark the occasion of Earth Day, state government sources also informed that a standard operating procedure (SOP) will be followed to tackle forest fire. Moreover, the responsibility of controlling and dousing the blaze will be entrusted on everyone from the divisional forest officer (DFO) level to the forest guards.

Similarly, incentives and training will be provided to make this initiative more effective. Each forest range will be equipped with a blower to control the fire.

Moreover, afforestation will be taken up with a target of regenerating 10 lakh hectares of raged forest land in the next four years.

“On the occasion of World Earth Day, I would urge citizens to contribute to the environment by planting at least one tree and actively participating in the State government’s program,” said Forest and Environment minister Bikram Keshari Arukh.

“We will construct a series of water conservation and water harvesting structures across major forest areas. This will help in ground water recharging and prevent steams from drying up. We are planning to ensure that these structures are set up in the next five years and this will help in preserving water for drinking and irrigation purposes,” said Forest and Environment secretary Suresh Mohapatra.

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