Panel of experts being sent to help Odisha govt manage forest fire: Environment minister

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) In the wake of a forest fire raging in Odisha's Simlipal National Park for over a week, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said a committee of experts is being sent to help the state government manage such incidents in the region.

Announcing it on Twitter, Javadekar also said he met Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and other parliamentarians from Odisha regarding the forest fire.

A massive fire has ripped through vast tracts of Simlipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district and other wildlife habitats nearby, raising concern among wildlife and environmental activists over its possible impact.

The Odisha government on Tuesday claimed that no life was lost in the forest blaze and that 95 per cent of the fire points have been extinguished or at least attended to.

'Today, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and other MPs from Odisha met me regarding forest fire in Simlipal National Park and nearby. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is sending a committee of experts to Odisha to give technical advise and help out the state forest department in effective management of forest fire incidents in the region,' Javadekar tweeted on Wednesday.

He said the experts will coordinate with teams deployed on the ground and help in dousing the blaze effectively. 'The experts will work in coordination with the deployed team for an early and effective dousing of fire. Will be reviewing the situation with my team at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on a daily basis,” he said in another tweet. PTI AG NSD