India DEHRADUN: The divisional forest officer (DFO) of Uttarkashi has booked a case against the Army for setting fire in a deodar forest in the Bagori village area during firing practice. The area which had not seen rain for last four months was undergoing a dry spell. Forest officials alleged that bullets fired by the Army personnel during a practice session ignited a fire that had been simmering for the last 17 days and has now been brought under control. District officials are conducting a probe about the delay in damage control.
The local residents of Bagori village of Harsil are quite upset with the forest officials. Former gram Pradhan Narayan Singh said, that the fire engulfed a deodar tree which kept burning for two days and, the forest officials who were informed about the incident well in time did not bother to extinguish it. Afterwards tree in flames fell on the ground and, as a consequence the fire spread out taking some other parts of the forest in its ambit. The villagers also alleged that the tree fell at the susceptible place on a temple, destroying a major part of it and, the fire swept across in the surroundings sweeping across orchards of some 23 families, thus perishing apple farms.
Divisional forest official, Sandeep Kumar thrashed the allegations saying that the fire was put out within couple of days. Still the stumps, which remained after many of the dry deodar trees were cut and collected by the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation, still simmered due to oil content in them and kept emitting smoke . He said that a range officer with his team is keeping close vigil of the region. However, he added that a criminal case has been booked against the Army for setting fire into the forest during their firing practice.
Meanwhile district magistrate, Ashish Shrivastav told TOI that a sub-divisional magistrate has been handed over the enquiry into the matter to probe for the assessment of damage as well as delay to contain the damage. Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.