App launched to monitor, prevent forest fires real time
CHENNAI: The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forest has launched an app and dashboard to monitor forest fires real-time on Wednesday.
Additionally, Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu also released a Guide Book on Forest Fire Management to provide necessary technical and field guidance for effective prevention of forest fire during a one-day workshop.
“During 2022, nearly 1,500 incidents of forest fires were reported. Due to prompt and coordinated action by the department, around 91% of large fires were controlled by the field staff within 24 hours as per the report of Forest Survey of India,” a department release said.
At the workshop, the Chief Secretary stressed upon the inter-departmental coordination for forest fire management at the district level.
“Use the State Disaster Response Fund for district level training in vulnerable districts. Additionally, train youth volunteers and local communities to handle forest fires,” Anbu urged the department officials.
Under NABARD, setting up of a Forest Fire Control Centre in Chennai has been sanctioned at Rs 1 crore. Similar district level centres have also been sanctioned in 34 divisions at a financial outlay of Rs 6.80 crore.
“Under the Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme, Rs 5.2 crore has been released for effectively managing them in the State. The State government has announced compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the kin of the department employees who lose their lives engaged in forest fire operations,” it added.
During the workshop, the department secretary Supriya Sahu pointed out that climate change was creating new challenges in managing forest fires.
“The department is accessing new technology to bring better management practices,” she averred.
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