New Delhi, Jun 24: The Supreme Court on Monday was informed that fire in more than 1,000 spots in Uttarakhand had been reported, that had demolished more than 1,000 hectares of land.
The apex court asked the petitioner, Rituparna Unniyal, to file additional documents before it issues directions to control forest fires in the state and adjourned the matter for further hearing in the case.
A vacation bench, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, initially asked the petitioner advocate to go to the High Court concerned, but it adjourned the matter giving him time to file additional documents.
Human-made forest fires in the Himalayan state have been noted frequently since the early 1900s, at times associated with popular movements against the then British government's forestry policies and for independence. Most of these blazes occur in the chir pine zone whose foliage easily catches fire.
Resin is harvested from these pines, and fires are often intentionally set to remove the carpet of pine needles that come in the way of harvesting activity.In June 1981, a blanket ban was introduced against felling of standing trees 1000 metres above sea level.Fires are also set by honey and sal seed collectors, to scare away wild animals, or to improve grass growth.Unniyal sought urgent steps to protect forests, wildlife and birds from wildfires in Uttarakhand.
The apex court during the course of the hearing suggested that the jurisdictional High Court will be in a better position to issue suitable directives.
Plaintiff submitted that fire in more than 1,000 spots in the state had been reported, that demolished more than 1,000 hectares of land. It should be protected and thereby the Supreme Court should pass appropriate directions to the concerned authorities. (UNI)