Pradhan, other Odisha MPs meet Prakash Javadekar over Simlipal forest fire

A delegation of MPs from Odisha led by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan meets Union Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar

Days after a fire devastated the Similipal forest division in Odisha, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other MPs from the state on Wednesday met handed over a memorandum to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, demanding his intervention in the issue of forest fires in the state.

The Odisha government on March 3 claimed no loss of life in the Similipal National Park fire, which has been raging for around a week and continues to rage the forest area, according to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).

The statement came after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation a day after Union Environment, forest and Climate Change Minister Javadekar sought a report on the devastating fire at the park, one of the major biospheres in the country.

According to an official release by the CMO, a high-level meeting with senior government officials was held in which Patnaik instructed officials to be vigilant and take all precautionary measures to combat the forest fire.

The Chief Minister said that "Shimlipal is not only a treasure trove of Odisha or India but also an invaluable asset of the whole world, CMO said in a release.

Additional Chief Secretary Department of Forests and Environment, Mona Sharma informed that the blaze has been brought under control. Sharma said that no casualties were reported so far and standard operating procedures have been issued to control the fire and no major trees have been damaged.

She also informed that the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Wildlife is monitoring the situation and preventive steps at the spot.

Earlier on Tuesday Union Minister Pradhan had tweeted that "Distressed to learn about the forest fires raging in Simlipal Tiger Reserve from social media platforms. Request the urgent attention of Union Minister for Environment & Forest, Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on this alarming situation at one of the most important biosphere reserves of the country."

Later Union Minister Prakash Javadekar informed through a tweet that he has ordered officers to take immediate action to report the issue.

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