In Pir Panchal Range and Udhampur district of Jammu region there have been scores of forest fire incidents in the recent past. Recently the Commissioner Secretary Forest tours Udhampur to assess the damage due to forest fires and devise the strategy for the future.
He conducted an extensive tour of Udhampur Forest division and inspected the fire affected areas in Co.97/D and Co.98/D and asked the officers to remain vigilant.
He reviewed the extent of damage caused by the forest fires besides taking stock of preparedness of the fire control teams and problems being faced by the front line staff in tackling forest issues.
He directed for deployment of more staff in vulnerable areas to minimize the fire incidents in the district forests. He asked for strict action, under law, against those mischievous elements who intentionally ignite fires. He also asked the Forest staff to immediately take up Beating Up of Casualties (BUC) in the Closures affected due to fire.
He interacted with BDC Chairman, Chenani and Sarpanch Basht at Panchayat Basht and assessed issues and concerns of their respective areas. He urged upon the BDC Chairman and PRI representatives to involve Self Help Groups in collection of Chir Pine needles for making handcrafts as well fuel briquettes that will help in rural livelihood generation. He also asked them for increasing participation of SHGs in Forest management and Protection making them stakeholders in promoting environmental cause as well as to mitigate climate change and forest fire that has taken a heavy toll on the Forest Biodiversity of the area due to continuous temperature rise and minimum rainfall this year.