Shimla, Mar 28 (UNI) An aggressive publicity campaign will be launched from divisional to conservator level with active involvement of district administration to effectively tackle incidents of forest fires across Himachal Pradesh, state Forest Minister J P Nadda.
Addressing a High level Meeting of Forest Officers for controlling forest fires here last evening, he said it was mandatory for all forest officials, including DFOs, ACFs down to Range Officers, to attend Gram Sabha meetings in their respective jurisdiction and enlighten the masses about the steps being taken by the government to control forest infernos during fire seasons usually from April one to June 30 and in the months of September and October every year.
Mr Nadda said that publicity material prepared for the purpose including pamphlets, hand bills and posters would be distributed to local people to create awareness among them about handy metnods of containing fire incidents in their respective area.
April six had been fixed for General House of Gram Sabhas in the state and all concerned forest officials had been directed to attend these Gram Sabhas invariably, he said.
The Nadda informed that sufficient forest workers would be deployed at each Divisional Headquarter and these rapid response teams consisting of five to 10 members each would work on shift basis round the clock to swing in action in case emergency situation arises.
He assured the forest officers that adequate budget allocation would be made to hire vehicles to facilitate mobility of these fire-fighting teams under supervision of concerned forest officers.
He also directed the Forest Authorities that intermittent meetings would be held with Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the concerned districts to devise and work out strategies at grass root level.
Regular meetings of Joint Forest Management Committees would be held at regular intervals and it would be ensured that local people are actively involved in the protection of forest wealth, he added.
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