Western Ghats, India — Sirsi based Vruksha Laksha Andolan and other environmental organizations like Seava Sagar, Uttara Kannada Zilla Parisara Samiti, Gram Bharati Hosanagar, Paschima Ghatta Ulisi, Chikamagalur and Samagra Vikas Bangalore have appealed to the Governor and Chief of the State Forest Department to jointly save forest valleys in Western Ghats from wildfire with due importance.
The chief coordinator of the organizations, Ananth Hegde Ashishar in a letter addressed to the Governor and the forest department said that due to forest fire a large number of tree species and animals were facing a threat in forest valleys.
Urging for the formation of separate forest fire control cell in Malnad districts in joint association with forest department and deputy commissioner at each district level, he asked for the utilization of Natural Calamity Fund for wildfire control.
Considering forest fire as a major calamity, the environment committee and natural calamity management committee headed by the deputy commissioner must hold discussion on such possible mishap control at the district-level, the organization said.
During summer when the fire mishaps are quite often, additional staff from social forestry should be deployed on the supervision work of forest fire control, he suggested.
Substantial income was being contributed by forests to the government exchequer and as such saving forests from all types of calamities including looting should be the responsibility of the government, he said.
For saving forests from wildfire, the department was suffering from lack of staff, vehicles, resources and the likes as expressed by the department. What strategies have been chalked out to mitigate such accidents, the coordinator questions the forest department.