The Charmadi Ghats, part of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, has been witnessing massive forest fires for the last 5 days, but the state government is yet to organize a high-level meeting, nor has a helicopter from the Indian Air Force or Navy requested. Fire. This is when forest workers are struggling to control the fire and even walking is not possible in many areas.
But from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, all cutting across party lines are riding helicopters for campaigning, but no one has demanded helicopters for fire drills.
This is even as the neighboring state of Goa is successfully using Navy helicopters to control the fire in the Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary, but the Karnataka chief minister is yet to seek such intervention or hold a review meeting Is.
He said, ‘All politicians are using helicopters to seek votes, but none of them are demanding Indian Air Force choppers to douse forest fires. We successfully used helicopters to extinguish the Bandipore National Park fire in 2019,” said environmentalist Joseph Hoover.
The JDS party also hit out at the government for not doing enough to combat the forest fires, especially when more than 70% of the forests in the state are dry deciduous, scrub and grasslands without wood.
“The state has limited resources. It is the duty of the State Government to enhance monitoring by involving local communities. There should be modern technology to control the fire. Delay in release of funds from the central government and failure to adopt modern methods have already caused huge losses. The BJP Karnataka government in the state has reserved a meager annual budget of Rs 13 crore for fire fighting,” the party said in a tweet.
With fresh fire being reported from Shibaje and other places near Belthangady, residents living on the periphery of the forest are worried.
Earlier in the week, a girl had lost her life in a forest fire in Devarayadurg. While in Chikkamagaluru the vehicles of forest guards were torched.
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