Monday, January 7, 2019

Forest Fires occur every year during summer.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE 

LOK SABHA
 UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 4056
 TO BE ANSWERED ON 04.01.2019 

Forest Fire 

4056. DR. RAMESH POKHRIYAL “NISHANK”:
 SHRI KIRTI VARDHAN SINGH: 
SHRI R. DHRUVA NARAYANA: 

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state: 
  • (a) whether the Government has any data regarding the number of forest fires in the country during the last decade, if so, the details thereof, year and forest-wise; 
  • (b) whether the Government has sought help from the foreign experts/ agencies to control forest fires and if so, the details thereof; 
  • (c) whether the Government has taken appropriate steps to check the incidents of the forest fire especially in the leaves of pine trees in Himalayan States, if so, the losses caused by forest fire during the last five years; 
  • (d) whether the Government has made any efforts to check the incidents of forest fires by holding awareness campaign/ competition on local community level, if so, the details thereof; and 
  • (e) whether the Government proposes to promote the pine leaves based industries in the Himalayan region and if so, the details thereof? 
ANSWER 
Forest+Fire
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE 
(DR. MAHESH SHARMA) 
  • (a) Forest Fires occur every year during summer due to various natural and anthropogenic reasons including accumulation of inflammable materials such as dry leaves, twigs, pine needles etc. Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, disseminates the satellite based forest fire alerts to the State Forest Departments and other registered users whenever forest fires are detected. The details of forest fire alerts issued to all State/ Union Territory Forest Departments during the last three years is given in Annexure-I. 
  • (b) The Ministry has not hired any foreign experts/ agencies to control forest fires. However, the Ministry in collaboration with the World Bank has conducted a study on Situation Analysis of Forest Fire and released a study report titled “Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India” which contains various recommendations regarding fire prevention, detection, suppression, post-fire management, engaging with communities, coordination with other agencies etc. 
The inputs from the study were also used by the Ministry in preparation of National Action Plan on Forest Fire which was issued in April 2018. Since forests belongs to the States, the responsibility of forest fire prevention and management lies primarily with the respective State/UT Governments. 
  • (c) Pine tree forests are more vulnerable to forest fires, as the leaves/needles of pine trees are highly inflammable due to its resin content. The State Government of Uttarakhand is making efforts to put the chir-pine needles to alternative use like making of briquettes, vegetative check dams, as bio-fuel in gasifies etc. The transportation of pine needles has been exempted from the control of Forest Produce Transit Rules by the State Government to facilitate its hassle free transportation across the state. 
The Forest Department of Uttarakhand has stopped plantations of chir-pine species in all its plantation programmes since 2005. As per the Uttarakhand Plantation Policy, 2005, multipurpose plantations are being done in the chir-pine areas of Middle Himalayan region. The main purpose is to gradually replace the pine trees with suitable broad-leaved tree species. The data regarding loss due to forest fire is not maintained in this Ministry. 
  • (d) The Ministry has issued National Action Plan on Forest Fire in April 2018 and circulated to all State/UT Governments for taking appropriate action for effective prevention and management of forest fire accordingly. 
The Ministry supports the efforts of State/Union Territory Governments in prevention and control of forest fire by providing financial assistance for various forest fire prevention and management measures. For prevention of forest fire, awareness camps are organized and adequate publicity is done by the State Forest Department as per the plan. Other prevention and control measures includes creation and maintenance of fire lines in forest areas, engagement of fire watchers, creation of water storage structures in forest areas, strengthening of forest infrastructure, procurement of fire fighting equipments, Soil and Moisture Conservation works in high risk areas, incentivizing villages/communities for protection against forest fire etc. under the Centrally Sponsored Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme. 
The details of fund released to State/ UT Governments for various forest protection measures including forest fire prevention and management under the erstwhile Intensification of Forest Management Scheme and the ongoing Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme during the last three years (as on 31.12.2018) is given in Annexure-II. 
  • (e) The State Governments has formulated schemes to promote pine leaves based industries. The State-wise details are as follows: 
(i) Himachal Pradesh: Efforts are made to establish linkage and mobilize support of Forest Department, PanchayatiRaj Institutions and local communities in this endeavor for effective collection of Pine Needles. Ambuja Cement Factory and Associated Cement Company Factories are involved in Pine needle collection through local communities. The local communities are being paid Rs. 1.65 to Rs. 
1.75 per kg for Pine Needles collected. 

(ii) Jammu & Kashmi r: The Forest Department of Jammu & Kashmir is exploring the possibility of using pine needles for making briquettes which can be used as an alternative energy source for local communities. 

(iii) Uttarakhand: The Government of Uttarakhand has incentivized pine needle collection by local communities and encourages setting up of briquetting plants based on chir pine needles. 

The Ministry supports the setting up of pine needle based industries as removal of pine needles from forests reduces the risk of forest fire. 

******* 
ANNEXURE-I 

ANNEXURE REFFERED TO IN REPLY TO PART (a) OF THE LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 4056 DUE FOR 04.01.2019 REGARDING FOREST FIRE ASKED BY DR. RAMESH POKHRIYAL “NISHANK”, SHRI KIRTI VARDHAN SINGH and SHRI R. DHRUVA NARAYANA
S. No. States/UTs
2015
2016
2017
1 Andaman & Nicobar Islands
1
24
8
2 Andhra Pradesh 1,075 1,699
1877
3 Arunachal Pradesh 358 293
733
4 Assam 1,656 1,766
1877
5 Bihar
45
321
272
6 Chandigarh
0
-
1
7 Chhattisgarh 1,272 2,808
4373
8 Dadra & Nagar Haveli
0
0
0
9 Daman & Diu
0
0
0
10 Delhi
0
2
5
11 Goa
0
10
32
12 Gujarat
117
262
574
13 Haryana
6
43
185
14 Himachal Pradesh
22
199
170
15 Jammu & Kashmir
13
217
113
16 Jharkhand
457
740
1133
17 Karnataka
295
831
1333
18 Kerala
91
165
456
19 Lakshadweep
0
0
0
20 Madhya Pradesh
294
2,675
4781
21 Maharashtra
721
1,874
3487
22 Manipur
1,286
1,105
1094
23 Meghalaya
1,373
966
1454
24 Mizoram
2,468
1,318
1587
25 Nagaland
722
678
930
26 Odisha
1,467
2,763
4416
27 Puducherry
0
0
9
28 Punjab
7
45
320
29 Rajasthan
90
66
260
30 Sikkim
3
0
8
31 Tamil Nadu
95
113
301
32 Telangana *
1,052
1,154
1748
33 Tripura
476
346
431
34 Uttar Pradesh
130
691
1170
35 Uttarakhand
207
1,501
376
36 West Bengal
138
142
364
Grand Total 15,937 24,817
35,888


ANNEXURE-II

ANNEXURE REFFERED TO IN REPLY TO PART (d) OF THE LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 4056 DUE FOR 04.01.2019 REGARDING FOREST FIRE ASKED BY DR. RAMESH POKHRIYAL “NISHANK”, SHRI KIRTI VARDHAN SINGH and SHRI R. DHRUVA NARAYANA
S. No. States 2015-16
Released
2016-17
Released
2017-18
Released
2018-19
Released
(As on 31.12.2018)
Other States
1
Andhra Pradesh 0.00
0.00
0.00
260.06
2
Bihar 59.09
88.59
75.00
57.17
3
Chhattisgarh 120.75 211.04 168.00
104.60
4
Gujarat 179.99 122.26
75.00
92.16
5
Goa 0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
6
Haryana 77.86
93.91
75.00
0.00
7
Himachal Pradesh 302.16 331.36 276.70
0.00
8
Jammu & Kashmir
193.93

95.61

75.00

0.00
9
Jharkhand 83.62 199.63 105.00
107.84
10
Karnataka 228.19 203.27 105.00
148.36
11
Kerala 86.00 163.65 234.53
220.83
12
Madhya Pradesh 420.00 281.15 168.00
572.08
13
Maharashtra 447.32 372.58 321.58
629.76
14
Orissa 136.00 266.14 168.00
348.01
15
Punjab 77.00
0.00
75.00
0.00
16
Rajasthan 112.54 174.22 105.00
98.82
17
Tamil Nadu 203.02
74.29
105.00
0.00
18
Telangana 0.00
0.00
105.00
0.00
19
Uttar Pradesh 156.15 139.72
75.00
100.61
20
Uttarakhand 356.83 304.03 168.00
438.38
21
West Bengal 0.00
92.83
75.00
54.14
Total 3240.45 3214.28 2554.81
3232.82
NE & Sikkim
1
Assam
0
0
0.00
93.23
2
Arunachal Pradesh
85.07

181.34

102.00

0.00
3
Manipur 240.76 125.02 219.88
181.73
4
Meghalaya 180.26 126.57 104.63
113.53
5
Mizoram 153.17 131.29
90.59
88.37
6
Nagaland 122.6 170.01
92.56
66.49
7
Sikkim
150
119.73 148.59
0.00
8
Tripura 147.19 190.76
66.00
65.40
Total 1079.05 1044.72 824.25
608.75
Union Territories
1
A & N Islands 28.00
56.23
9.00
0.00
2
Chandigarh 36.99
74.52
8.00
0.00
3
D&N Haveli 0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
4
Daman & Diu 0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
5
Lakshadweep 0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
6
New Delhi 0.00
50.00
30.00
0.00
7
Pondicherry 0.00
0.00
30.00
0.00
Total 64.99 180.75
77.00
0.00
Grand Total 4384.49 4439.75 3456.06
3841.57
*****
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