Tamil Nadu

Have some leads on the cause of Theni forest fire: Atulya Misra

Atulya Misra

Atulya Misra  

Details to be disclosed in the report to State government

The State-appointed Enquiry Officer for the Kurangani forest fire tragedy, Atulya Misra, on Wednesday said he had obtained information on the cause of the fire, adding that the details would be disclosed in the report to be submitted to the State government in two months’ time.

Addressing mediapersons before commencing the third phase of the inquiry, Mr. Misra said that as per the Terms of Reference, the enquiry officer had to determine how the incident took place, the procedures followed in obtaining permission for trekking, any lapses on the part of the Forest department and any mistakes on the part of the trekking organisers, besides making recommendations to prevent such incidents from recurring.

When asked how the fire occurred and whether it was caused due to farmers burning the grass, he said there were four key factors to consider in case of a fire breakout: heat, oxygen, spark and fuel. “If there were fuel, wind and oxygen on the spot, we have to find out where the spark came from,” he said and refused to reveal any more details.

Mr. Misra said he had visited the Otha Maram spot on March 21 and the trekking route on Kozhukkumalai, the Top Station and the Central Station on March 22. “So far, we have spoken to 72 persons, including survivors, family members of the victims, members of the Eco Tourism Management Committee and the general public,” he added.

‘Spoken to survivors’

The officer said he had spoken to two survivors in Chennai on April 2 and had held discussions with experts, wildlife wardens and mediapersons.

To a query on the founder of the Chennai Trekking Club moving the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, seeking anticipatory bail, he said anybody could seek legal redress, and that his mission was executive in nature.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 12:26:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/have-some-leads-on-the-cause-of-theni-forest-fire-atulya-misra/article23437963.ece

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