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Fire alert system being installed in forests: Govt

The Forest Department has taken measures to install the GIS-based fire alert messaging system. This was informed by the counsel for the state before the Circuit Court of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The directions were issued to the state to provide effective fire hazard messaging system for monitoring and controlling forest fires in the state and to place on record forest fire season zonation map. In compliance to the directions passed by the NGT, an affidavit, filed by Additional Chief Secretary, Forest, Vineet Chaudhary, reveals that the measures were taken to install and commission the GIS-based fire alert messaging system in the Forest Department as adopted by the department of Madhya Pradesh. It was further mentioned in the affidavit that as per the directions, the forest fire season zonation map had also been prepared.

After perusing the affidavit, a Bench headed by Justice UD Salvi observed, “No doubt, the alert system is now in place to receive timely alerts regarding fire breaking out in the forest, but at the same time it will have to be seen how that system works, particularly during the season for such forest hazards. We, therefore, wish to keep this petition pending.”

It further directed the state to file a status report covering the details of the fire prevention control and management plan on or before the next date of hearing and listed the matter for January 2, 2014. The NGT passed this order while holding the Circuit Court sitting here last week on suo motu proceedings initiated by it with a concern for the fire hazard in the forests of Himachal Pradesh.

Burning issue

  • Directions were issued to the state to provide effective fire hazard messaging system for monitoring and controlling forest fires in the state and to place on record forest fire season zonation map
  • The counsel for the state told the National Green Tribunal that the Forest Department had taken measures to install the GIS-based fire alert messaging system

The Tribune (27-11-2013)