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40  mobile stations on Char Dham route, other roads to combat wildfires

Every mobile crew station is under the charge of a forest guard or forest sub-inspector level official and includes four fire watchers and one driver, Additional Chief Conservator of Forest (Forest Fires) Nishant Verma has said.

News Arena Network - Dehradun - UPDATED: May 13, 2024, 09:53 AM - 2 mins read

Every mobile crew station is under the charge of a forest guard or forest sub-inspector level official and includes four fire watchers and one driver, Additional Chief Conservator of Forest (Forest Fires) Nishant Verma has said.

40  mobile stations on Char Dham route, other roads to combat wildfires

Raging forest fires in Uttarakhand have destroyed more than 1,437 hectares of green cover since November 2023, according to forest department figures. (PTI/FILES).


Raging forest fires in Uttarakhand have destroyed more than 1,437 hectares of green cover since November 2023, according to forest department figures, but now 40  mobile crew stations have been set up every 20 kilometres on the Char Dham Yatra route and roads to other tourist spots to control wildfires.

 

Every mobile crew station is under the charge of a forest guard or forest sub-inspector level official and includes four fire watchers and one driver, Additional Chief Conservator of Forest (Forest Fires) Nishant Verma said, PTI reported

 

The crew stations have been established every 20 kilometres on the yatra route. Travellers on the routese have also been asked to report active forest fire incidents to authorities on the numbers printed on posters and banners put up along the yatra route, Verma said.

 

Spells of rains recently however have provided much-needed respite with no fresh incidents of fire reported over the past few days, a forest department bulletin said.

 

The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand began on May 10 with the opening of portals of the Kedarnath, Yamunotri and the Gangotri temples followed by the opening of Badrinath on May 12.

 

Comparing the number of pilgrims to visit the shrines on the first two days in 2023 and 2024, social activist Anoop Nautiyal said there has been a 44 per cent increase in the influx of devotees this year.

 

"If the influx of tourists and devotees continues at this pace, a record 79 to 80 lakh people are likely to visit the temples during the ongoing yatra season, breaking last year's record of 54 lakh," Nautiyal said.

 

"The authorities need to plan the yatra with foresight and make adequate arrangements for the large crowds," he said.

 

On Sunday, the authorities appealed to the yatris not to proceed on their journey to Yamunotri as the number of pilgrims at the Himalayan temple had exceeded its carrying capacity. 

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