New Delhi, May 2: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday,May 2 condoled the deaths caused by the massive forest fires in Uttarakhand.
The fires have led to major air pollution and damaged the environment.
"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," the President said in a message to Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul.
"I am confident the government and people of Uttarakhand will deal this challenge with speed and determination."
Extending his sympathies to "all whose lives have been affected", the President said: "My prayers and good wishes are with the people of Uttarakhand at this difficult juncture."
Applauding the efforts of the state government, he said: "I applaud the efforts of the state government and all rescue personnel as well as civil society organisations 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."
Uttarakhand is under President's Rule since March 27 after the dismissal of the Harish Rawat ministry.
President Mukherjee made the statement on his way back to India after a six-day official visit to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.