Theni forest fire: a trek that ended in tragedy

‘Reports that the fire has been raging for a week are not true’

Insisting that the State government swiftly swung into action to rescue the trekkers, Commissioner of Revenue Administration K. Satyagopal says the fire is under control now. In an interview with The Hindu, he denied that the fire had broken out a week ago. Excerpts:

Is the forest fire still on?

The fire in the hills is under control. There have been these frequent occurrences – sometimes triggered by mischief mongers and sometimes due to natural causes. As of Monday evening, the fire is on but very much under control.

There are claims that the forest fire was sighted a week ago and efforts were taken to put it out?

No, there was a claim. But, when checked, it turned out not to be true.

How early did the government get the information about the incident?

We received the information around 4.30 p.m. and swiftly, the CM’s office was informed. Top level officers swung into action and necessary measures were taken to seek the support of the Defence Ministry. We coordinated with the district administration and mobilised manpower for medical and other help.

But the CM told journalists on Sunday evening that he was not aware of the details of the incident...

Only the CM’s Office can clarify on this. Also, may be the information we had was sketchy before it could be passed on to the Chief Minister. But, all necessary action was taken by then. Senior officers were already coordinating with the Defence Ministry and all steps had been taken on the ground.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:13:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/reports-that-the-fire-has-been-raging-for-a-week-are-not-true/article23165741.ece

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