Dzukou fire almost under control: Biren

Dzukou fire almost under control: Biren
Manipur CM N Biren Singh launching BJP s Clean Manipur Healthy Manipur under the Clean India Mission in Imphal on Tuesday.
Correspondent IMPHAL, JAN 5 | Publish Date: 1/5/2021 12:45:29 PM IST


Forest fire at Dzukou Valley was almost under control, said Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh during a speech at state BJP’s function in Imphal on Tuesday.
The chief minister was addressing the launch function of a 108-day “Clean Manipur Healthy Manipur” under the “Clean India Mission” programme of the BJP Manipur Pradesh in Imphal on Tuesday.
The forest fire broke out at Dzukou Valley reportedly on the Nagaland side on December 29. As it rapidly spread to the Manipur side of the Valley, the state government prompted to swing into action to put out the fire with the assistance of the Centre. 
The Centre has been deploying National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel besides helicopters of the Indian Air Force to assist the state forces to put the fire under control.
The chief minister who informed that the fire was still visible in five locations below Mt Esii range towards Koziirii forest, said efforts were on to put the fire under control.
Apart from fire fighters of the state fire service, the police and local volunteers, 106 NDRF personnel and three IAF helicopters were deployed  since Monday to combat the forest fire, Singh said.
The whole operation was being supervised by a deputy inspector general (DIG) of the state fire service department. They were trying to combat the wildfire that descended downwards of Koziirii forest,” the chief minister said.
Locals assisted in the transportation of manpower, water and food besides guiding the security and NDRF teams through steep mountains to reach ground zero, he added.
He thanked the Centre, particularly Union home minister Amit Shah for extending assistance by providing NDRF manpower and helicopters to control the fire.
He said that Amit Shah was quick to give his response to control the fire expected to have destroyed much of the pristine forest and harm the rich biodiversity of the valley.
 “Soon after I tweeted about the fire blazing the popular tourist spot after an aerial survey (on January1), Amit Shahji immediately reacted and contacted me over phone and enquired about the fire,” he said.
Within 10 minutes , Union joint secretary (Home) contacted the state chief secretary on the assistance the ministry can provide to the state to put the fire under control, the chief minister said.
The state government then requested for deployment of IAF helicopters to assist the state team in dousing the fire, following which IAF sent three helicopters, Singh claimed.
Meanwhile, the chief minister expressed shock and deep sorrow over the death of assistant sub-inspector Nongthombam Binoy Meetei of NDRF, currently deployed at Dzuko as part of the ongoing fire fighting operation.
A resident of Luwangshangbam Maning Leikai in Imphal East district, Binoy Meetei who went to join the fire fighting operation was found dead inside one of the base camps of the NDRF on Monday morning.
The chief minister said Nongthombam Binoy Meetei failed to wake up and was found dead inside one of the base camps set up on the way to Dzuko. 
He died in the line of duty serving his people. He was a committed officer. His dedication to duty and zeal for accomplishing objectives was exceptional, Singh said, adding that his work and sacrifice for the state will ever remain as an inspiration to his fellow citizens. Singh expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. He also prayed for peace to the departed soul.
The chief minister added that if not controlled on time, Dzuko wildfire could create huge environmental impact destroying vast areas of forest cover, wildlife and their habitats and thousands of plant species having precious medicinal values. 


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