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April 29, 2024

Battling the Blaze: Uttarakhand CM Dhami Pledges Action Against Nainital Forest Fire

The Nainital forest fire has become a pressing concern in Uttarakhand, prompting Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to vow strict action against those responsible. Since the past week, a raging inferno has engulfed Nainital’s forests, posing a threat to the region’s biodiversity and communities.

Chief Minister Dhami stressed the importance of a united front in combating the blaze, urging all stakeholders, including locals and institutions like the Indian Army, to come together for firefighting efforts. “We are asking for help from all institutions, including the Indian Army. The locals are also being asked to cooperate towards dousing the fire. The responsibility of the officers found responsible in this will also be fixed,” Dhami stated.

Taking proactive steps, Dhami conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas on Saturday to assess the damage caused by the Nainital forest fire. He reiterated his commitment to taking strict action against the culprits behind the deliberate setting of fires.

To aid in firefighting efforts, the Indian Air Force deployed MI 17 V5 helicopters, equipped with ‘Bambi Buckets,’ to douse the flames. These helicopters collected water from Nainital Lake, albeit temporarily halting boating activities on the lake. Rahul Anand, Executive Officer of the Nainital Municipal Corporation, explained the safety precautions taken to facilitate the IAF’s operations. “We received information of IAF helicopters seeking permission to take water from Nainital to douse the fire. To make arrangements, we closed boating in the lake for the day. Fire is reported in Nainital in many places, including very close to the Air Force Station in the district,” Anand stated.

He emphasized the primary goal of safeguarding the Air Force Station while ensuring the situation remains under control. Efforts are ongoing to contain the fire and prevent further damage to the environment and surrounding areas.

The Nainital forest fire serves as a stark reminder of the critical need for robust wildfire prevention and management strategies. Besides immediate firefighting measures, long-term initiatives focused on environmental conservation and community engagement are essential to mitigate the risks posed by such disasters.

This incident underscores the vulnerability of forest ecosystems and the imperative of proactive measures to protect them. Preserving Uttarakhand’s rich biodiversity and ensuring the safety of its residents require concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including government authorities, local communities, and environmental organizations.

While firefighting operations continue, it is crucial for authorities to conduct thorough investigations into the causes of the Nainital forest fire and hold those responsible accountable. Moreover, raising awareness about the consequences of forest fires and promoting sustainable practices can help prevent such incidents in the future.

In the face of adversity, Uttarakhand remains resilient, with Chief Minister Dhami’s firm commitment to tackling the Nainital forest fire and safeguarding the state’s natural treasures. Through collective action and proactive measures, the region can overcome this challenge and emerge stronger in its resolve to protect its forests and wildlife for generations to come.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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