New Delhi: The President of India Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the loss of lives in Uttarakhand due to massive forest fires which have affected large areas of the State, causing air pollution as well as damage to environment.
In his message to Dr. K.K. Paul, the Governor of Uttarakhand, the President has said “I am sad and distressed to know about the massive fires which have affected large areas of the state, causing loss of lives and air pollution as well as damage to environment.
I am confident the Government and people of Uttarakhand will deal this challenge with speed and determination.
I share the grief of those who have lost their near and dear ones and extend my sympathies to all whose lives have been affected. I applaud the efforts of the State Government and all rescue personnel as well as civil society organizations to save the environment and our biodiversity as well as human lives.
I call upon the State Government and all other authorities to provide every assistance possible to the bereaved families as well as all those affected.
My prayers and good wishes are with the people of Uttarakhand at this difficult juncture”.
Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari, in his message has said:
“I am saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life and property caused by massive forest fires in parts of Uttarakhand. The fires have also resulted in environmental damage. Relief and rescue operations are presently underway and every effort should be made to control the fires and render all possible aid to the injured and the bereaved families.
My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Uttarakhand. I join the people of the country in conveying my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wish speedy recovery to the injured persons.”
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today sent strong message to those who were involved in deliberately setting forests on fire in Uttarakhand and said a probe had been ordered into the incident.
Besides Uttarakhand, there are reports from different parts of Himachal Pradesh where 378 forest fires broke out during the current summer season.
Accordinbg to S P Vasudeva, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, “fires occurred on 3000 hectare areas, mostly in lower areas of Solan, Sirmaur, Bilaspur, Kangra, Hamirpur, Shimla and some other places but all these were ground fires caused by burning of highly inflammable dry pine needles.”
As many as 378 fires broke out in different areas of the State, he said adding since the department was prepared for such an eventuality, there has been no major loss.