Dehradun: Taking a serious note of the raging forest fires in different parts of the state, Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul has decided to double the number of personnel engaged to douse the flames from 3,000 to 6,000.
The decision was among several decisions taken at an Advisory Council meeting chaired by Paul late on Thursday evening to address the problems of forest fires and drought in the state. Five hundred personnel from the fire brigade have also been deployed to help in controlling the fires.
In every district, 100 PRD personnel will be posted for the safety of revenue forests. This number may be increased later, an official release Dehradun said.
It was decided that 5 crore rupees will be released from the State Disaster Response Fund for buying fire control equipment.
Tankers will be sent to provide water in wildlife parks and district magistrates have been instructed to arrange for extra tankers according to the requirement in their respective districts.
All officials concerned have been directed to work under an action plan on a war footing to deal with forest fires and drought conditions.
It was directed that tankers should be arranged for immediate and long term relief, and that traditional water sources be revived and preserved.
The governor said all directions given till now about forest fires must be followed strictly.
All van panchayats, mahila mangal dals, self help groups and yuvak mangal dals must be active and support the efforts to check forest fires.
Police and homeguard personnel have already been activated.
The commandant of SDRF has been asked to provide help to district magistrates. District magistrates have been told to monitor the situation on a daily basis. The governor will review the work on a weekly basis. The first review will be on April 30, through videoconferencing.
District magistrates have also been instructed to immediately provide the compensation amount to families affected by forest fires.
It was also decided that other departments should also work in coordination with each other to check forest fires and that a strict watch be kept on elements who are involved in illegal felling in forests.
The governor said that van panchayats and home guards can help keep watch, the governor said. Any negligence in following the directions given for checking forest fires and for providing potable water will not be allowed, he added.