Not Equipped With Modern Fire Fighting Techniques: Forest Officer Tells High Court After Forest Fires In Haryana's Morni Hills

Update: 2024-06-11 15:10 GMT
Click the Play button to listen to article

In aftermath of the massive forest fires in Haryana's Morni Hills, the area Divisional Forest Officer conceded before the High Court that "the department is not equipped with modern fire fighting techniques like aerial watering."The Divisional Forest Officer of Morni-Pinjore Division submitted that the department had successfully doused and controlled the initial fire that broke out in...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
Please Subscribe for unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments, Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.

In aftermath of the massive forest fires in Haryana's Morni Hills, the area Divisional Forest Officer conceded before the High Court that "the department is not equipped with modern fire fighting techniques like aerial watering."

The Divisional Forest Officer of Morni-Pinjore Division submitted that the department had successfully doused and controlled the initial fire that broke out in early April. However, amid immense heat wave and dry spells the incidences became frequent from May 18.

"This summer season has been exceptionally hot with high temperature, low humidity and long dry spell which makes the dried pine needles on the ground of the forest very vulnerable to fire. The incidences of fire may be caused due to conducive fire conditions and at times due to negligence of trespassers, local inhabitants or visitors," the officer submitted on behalf of Haryana Government.

The affidavit further stated that forest officials are vigilant for any incidences of fire and that with its available resources, the department has been successful in dousing fires with the help of fire-fighting equipment and by deploying fire watchers and staff.

It refuted the claim that the forest department does not take adequate steps to undertake afforestation in the areas affected by the forest fire. "It is submitted that the department carries out afforestation exercises on regular basis."

The development came in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL)  filed by Vaibhav Vats and Uday Pratap Singh, lawyers by profession, seeking necessary steps forthwith to contain the forest fire in the Morni Forests, which allegedly took place on May 21.

The petitioners submitted that the fire is still active and it is spreading to nearby places, which in fact, is having a severe consequences on the various aspects of the life of not only the humans, as well as wild life and ecological balance.

The Court was informed that there are no active forest fires in the region, as of day.

In the previous hearing, a vacation bench of Justice Archana Puri and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan while issuing notice to Haryana Government, Secretary to Department of Environment, Deputy Commissioner, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Division Forest Officer, had asked the State to file "written response with regard to the fire being active at present and the steps initiated by the government to control the fire."

Today, the Court directed to place the reply on record and listed the matter for June 19, for further consideration.

Mr. Vaibhav Vats, petitioner No.1 in person.

Mrs. Shubhra Singh, Addl. Advocate General, Haryana.

Mrs. Promila Nain, Senior Panel Counsel, for respondent No.6-UOI.

Full View
Tags:    

Similar News