The National Green Tribunal granted two days time to Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh governments to file a reply regarding forest fires in their respective states. Hearing the matter today, the tribunal adjourned the case to May 27, 2016
In the previous hearing, the green panel had issued show cause notice to the states on the fires that have reduced green cover in the states to rubble, granted time to the counsel to seek instructions. The Tribunal further observed that wild fires spreading in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are a matter of serious concern, there appears to be slackness on the part of the concernedGovernments as the fire is stated to be spreading by the day and the same is resulting in huge loss of forest cover, ecological damage and serious environmental problems, for instance, Carbon Dioxide emissions resulting in air pollution and the detrimental effect of the fires on the glaciers.
The NGT had asked also steps that are being taken by the states to prevent and curb such incidents. The tribunal further enquired as to whether there is an alert system in place and the governments are notified well in time. The Tribunal further inquired what steps are being taken and whether the preventive alerts were received or not.
The Tribunal observed that the alert system is not localized and is GPS based.
The Tribunal further observed that the Forest Survey of India sends out SMS alerts to all field officers on a daily basis and the same has been going on for last several years.
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