INDIA - DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand government has approved the proposal for formation of a crisis management cell to deal with recurring forest fire incidents. The cell headed by the chief secretary will have principal secretaries of various departments such as home, forest, PWD, revenue and rural development who will coordinate with each other.
Keeping in wake the large number of fire incidents in which a major part of forests all over the state had burnt last year and the inadequacies such as lack of coordination among various departments to seek help from centre and armed forces came to the fore, the crisis management cell will be formed to resolve all these issues.
Prem Singh Shrivastava, chief conservator of forests and in charge of legal cell, vigilance and forest fire who had prepared the proposal of the crisis management cell told TOI, “The cell headed by chief secretary will have principal secretaries from various departments which include home, transport, information, health, forest, environment, revenue, rural development, PWD and finance. Principal chief conservator of forests will be its member secretary. The cell has been mandated to hold monthly meeting but it will also have emergency meetings to deal with any major forest fire incident in the state.”
He said, since the issues of taking help from centre or army or air force require decision making at apex level, so all the top officials of various concerned department which have been made part of the cell will be able to do so easily.
With regard to forest area, under civil soyam and van panchayat, the governing bodies have to take decision related to forest fire on their own and through their own resources.
He expected that soon the cell would come into shape in next few days and, an officer of chief conservator of forests level will be deputed as in-charge of fire and disaster management.