Helpless firefighters plead for modern equipments

Helpless firefighters plead for modern equipments

 31 October 2007

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Greater Kashmir, India — Despite passing of several weeks, authorities have failed to douse the fire which has engulfed forests in north Kashmir.

The firefighters, who are feeling helpless, plead their failure saying they are not equipped with modern techniques of firefighting but try it the way early man did in primitive times.

The State Forest Department says it has no modern fire fighting equipment but use “archaic methods like ring which were used by early man”.

Having failed on other fronts, they now pray for rains.

“We have no modern equipment to extinguish the fire, only we are using methods like ring and fire-lines,” said Chief Conservator of Forests Abdur Razaq adding that his team was facing tough times to control the fire in the dense forests of north Kashmir.

He said the department has submitted Rs 40 crore plan to the Centre to prove measures for dousing forest fires, which frequently hit Kashmir.

“Apart from this, we get some financial help from the Centre which is too low to control the devastating fire in forests of valley,” he said predicting that rains would help douse the fire.

 About assessment of loss, Razaq said, “we can’t say anything about the loss by fire, as state has no satellite imaginary system to estimate it.”

To mention the wildfire has gripped forests in Lolab, Kupwara and Doda areas for the last few weeks.

Minister of State (MOS) Forests, Ejaz Ahmed Khan told Greater Kashmir that department is striving to control the forest fire and have extinguished it at many places with help of locals.

“Locals have helped us in controlling the fires at many places. We are trying hard to control the fire in Lolab and Doda,” he said.

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