SHIMLA 15 March 2018:

In order to create mass awareness regarding prevention and control of forest fires due to a prolonged dry spell in the state, Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur today flagged off the two rapid firefighting force vehicles to various forest fire sensitive areas of the state after launching the forest fire awareness campaign in the state from here today.

He said that the fortnight-long campaign was being launched throughout the State to create awareness amongst the people regarding the precautions and the measures to be adopted in case of a major forest fire or other such incidents and seek their participation.

The Chief Minister said that anyone found igniting the forest fires would be dealt as per the law of the land. He said that spending some amount on such campaigns was useful as the motive was to sensitize the people regarding the forest fires. We also need to create awareness amongst the people not to put the pastures to fire as it did not help in re-growth of the fodder. There was also a need to keep our forest cover preserved and protect them from fires. He said that with the community participation and awareness campaigns we can minimize the fire incidents.

Shri Jai Ram Thakur said that ‘Rapid Forest Fire Fighting Force’ had been constituted with 1900 volunteers as its members. Besides, special events like rallies on foot and on cycles, chat shows, Nukkad nataks, painting and slogan writing and exhibitions would be organized to create wider awareness during the campaign. He appealed to the people to take advantage and participate in this campaign.

He also released a manual containing key features of the campaign.

Forest Minister Shri Govind Thakur said the awareness campaign would be undertaken on two routes from 16th March onwards till 27th March 2018. The awareness campaigns would be simultaneously held on two routes viz: Kangoo, Suket, Jaidevi, Jari, Patlikuhal,Urla, Jogindernagar, Ladbhadol, Baijnath, Droh, Gopalpur, Chowari, Chamba, Dalhousie, Dehra and the second route would cover Nirmand, Rampur, Sunni, Arki, Addhar, Bijad, Bangana, Amb, Ramshehar, Nalagarh, Trilokpur, Kolar, Paonta Sahib, Majra, Kafota, Nahan, Jamta, Dharampur and Solan. The two vehicles will cover the entire states in 11 districts barring the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti.

Earlier, the Forest department organized a ‘Run’ from the historic ridge in the morning in which children from various schools, forest officials and citizens from Shimla participated.

The run was flagged off by Forest Minister Shri Gobind Thakur.

Speaker HP Vidhan Sabha Dr. Rajiv Bindal, Urban Development Minister Smt. Sarveen Chaudhary, MLAs, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Shri G.S. Goraya were also present on the occasion amongst other senior officers of the forest department.

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