BHAWANIPATNA: A massive drive has been launched to prevent forest fire from damaging bamboo plantations in the jungles of Kalahandi district during the ensuing summer. Informing this at a press meet here recently, Regional Chief Conservator of Forest Suresh Panth said in north and south forest divisions of the district, around 10,000 vulnerable spots have been identified and the bamboo regeneration areas divided into very sensitive, sensitive and moderate zones.
Blowers and other equipment have been kept ready in all the range offices to extinguish forest fire and fire brigade officers have also been kept in the loop, he added. Panth said control rooms will be functional round the clock in the division offices to monitor while GIS software and satellite data will be used for assistance. A detailed action plan has been formulated in this regard, he added.
Last year, there was large scale as well as sporadic flowering of bamboo in different forest areas leading to drying of the flowered bamboo species. Usually, bamboo plant dies after flowering, but the seeds regenerate after rain. This year, though there is regeneration from the fallen bamboo seeds, there is a need to conserve and protect those from forest fire, he stressed.
Bamboo growth is essential in the forest areas for elephants as well as economy of forest dwellers. Karlapat sanctuary of Kalahandi has elephant herds and migratory herds also move through the corridor connecting Karlapat and Kotgarh sanctuary in Kandhmal district via Urladani of Kalahandi.
Forest fire is often caused due to burning of bush and grass to collect minor forest produce like Mahua flower and shifting cultivation. The department has prepared a strategy to check forest fire, he said. Among others, DFO (South) Viswanath Neelamvkar and DFO (North) Nitish Kumar were present.