'You Showed Us A Rosy Picture When...': SC Raps Centre, State Over Uttarakhand Forest Fires

(MENAFN- Live Mint) "Uttarakhand Forest Fires: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India criticized the Uttarakhand government for insufficient funds and assigning state forest officials Lok Sabha Election 2024 duties amid the ongoing forest fire situation. The hilly state has been grappling with hundreds of active wildfires since November 1 of the previous year, damaging approximately 1,145 hectares of forest Supreme Court has been hearing pleas on forest fires in Uttarakhand since early May. According to the petitions, at least 910 incidents have occurred in the state.
According to an NDTV report, the apex court also criticized the Indian government, slamming the fact that Uttarakhand was granted only ₹ 3.15 crore to deal with the forest fires against a demand of ₹10 crore.
The Supreme Court also demanded from the Centre why forest officials in Uttarakhand had been assigned Lok Sabha Elections duties.
“Why have adequate funds not been given? Why have you put forest employees on poll duty amid fires?” NDTV quoted the SC bench.“You showed us a rosy picture when things were worse,” it added apex court has asked the Uttarakhand chief secretary to appear before it on May 17 over the 'lackadaisical' approach shown by the Uttarakhand government in tackling fires Supreme Court has asked the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary to explain large vacancies in the forest department, lack of fire fighting equipment, and deployment of forest officials despite specific exemption granted by Election Commission May 8, the Supreme Court asked the Uttarakhand government to take preventative steps to control the forest fires instead of depending on 'rain gods' or cloud seeding.
Uttarakhand's five Lok Sabha seats voted in the first phase on April 19 least five people have died in the Uttarakhand forest fires. Four individuals were arrested for allegedly setting fire to the Gangolihat range forest in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district. The accused have been identified as Piyush Singh, Ayush Singh, Rahul Singh, and Ankit, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's Pirul Lao-Paise Pao campaign gained momentum, as villagers participated in the initiative and collected 'Pirul' in Dehradun on Wednesday Minister launched the Pirul Lao-Paise Pao Mission in the Rudraprayag district on May 8, in light of the forest fire situations across the state in May, forest fires reached a dangerously close to a reasidential area in Uttarakhand's Nainital. Boating was temporarily halted for fire-fighting operations.
The Indian Air Forces helicopters and army's personnel were pressed into the operations.


Live Mint

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