Cuttack: The Bharatiya Bikash Parishad, a social outfit on Tuesday filed a PIL in the Orissa High Court seeking appropriate measures to contain and douse the wildfire in Similipal biosphere reserve and other forests across the State even as the Odisha government claimed to have contained the blaze in the national park.
The PIL comes a day after the Odisha Government constituted a high-level task force with former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Dr Sandeep Tripathy as its head to bolster firefighting efforts across forests in the State. The task forces has been entrusted with the job of reviewing forest fire incidents and suggest improvements in SOPs for better fire management in containing the situation.
Tripathy said yesterday “The forest fire in Similipal is now almost contained. The core area with precious wildlife has not been impacted much, with fire mostly confined to the peripheral areas of the Similipal Tiger Reserve."
On Monday the State government decided to deploy ODRAF teams, local community and members of Panchayati Raj institutions to contain wild blaze which has been reported from across the State including Similipal national park and biosphere reserve.
The fire in Similipal which has been reported around a fortnight back has triggered global outcry for the ecological disaster. Forest and fire personnel are finding it tough to extinguish the flames in the large biosphere reserve.
From the satellite imagery, it has been revealed that 93 points are still burning in 12 beat areas under six ranges of Similipal.
Four fire brigade teams have ventured into the deep forests at Barehipani, Gudugudia, Talabandha, Kendumundi, Chahala, Naana ranges in Similipal.
"We will try out best to douse the flames in Similipal. We have some fire extinguishing equipment and the Similipal authorities will also provide us some additional equipment," said Manoranjan Behera, an ODRAF official.
Meanwhile, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) on Tuesday stated that two ODRAF teams have reported to the RCCF in Mayurbhanj for the fire response duty in Similipal biosphere reserve.
— SRC, Govt of Odisha (@SRC_Odisha) March 9, 2021