For sure, the loss of life in the Kurangani forest fire has been tragic. But a positive that has emerged is that the State government acted swiftly in coordination with the Centre to launch rescue and relief operations.
“There has been extremely good coordination not just between the Centre and the State government but also among various departments of the State government such as Forest, Police, Health and Revenue, which, of course, is the fulcrum,” said a senior official of the Tamil Nadu government who was involved in the operation.
The official said that the entire political executive – Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Ministers — was “kept informed” and involved from the beginning.
Sources said as soon as Theni Collector M. Pallavi Baldev informed the top brass of the State government about the fire around 4 p.m. on Sunday, the State government decided to contact the Defence authorities for rescuing those who were trapped in the forest. P. Senthilkumar, Public Secretary and one of the Secretaries to the Chief Minister, contacted the Private Secretary of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, leading to prompt response from the other side.
The way Ms. Baldev handled the situation also came in for appreciation.