NGT asks Ministry to finalise national policy on forest fires

April 18, 2018 12:19 am | Updated 12:19 am IST - NEW DELHI

A view of the fire in Tirumala in 2014.

A view of the fire in Tirumala in 2014.

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to finalise the National Policy on Forest Fire within two weeks, after noting that forest fires generally occur in the month of April.

A Bench headed by NGT acting chairperson Jawad Rahim said, “Though we have acceded to grant of time, but in view of the fact that forest fires normally occur in the month of April every year, we direct the MoEF&CC to get all the requisite approval that are required from the Minister and give finality to the National Policy on Forest Fire and make it implementable.”

The green panel had earlier come down heavily on the Centre for remaining a “mute spectator” to the recurring forest fires in the hill States and asked the Environment Ministry to formulate a national policy.

The directions came while the Bench was hearing a plea filed by senior advocate Rajiv Dutta who had claimed that “if no urgent steps are taken, further devastation would be caused to a huge chunk of flora and fauna which are considered wealth of the nation”.

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