Panaji, Mar 8 (IANS): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday held a high-level meeting of State Disaster Management Authority and ordered a thorough investigation into the forest fire that spread in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary since the last three days.
"Today we took support of the Navy and succeeded in controlling the fire in some areas. But as it is still raging in some other areas, a high-level meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority was held to know the reasons," Sawant said.
"People who light fire in their cashew plantation to clean the areas should stop such practices. Else we will take action against them. Action would be taken against forest guards if they are found irresponsible in their duties. A thorough investigation of this will be conducted. We will not tolerate loss of forest," he said.
Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane said that on the request of Forest Department, the Navy deployed helicopters for aerial survey to ascertain the status of the forest fire.
"Assessment of the extent of fire is underway and through site specific forestry management practices, appropriate measures will be taken in the fire-affected forest areas. The department is closely monitoring the situation and strict action will be taken in this matter," Rane said.
"This is a deliberate attempt to create such forest fires, I have directed the principal chief conservator of forest to divert all the forest guards deployed in the respective areas to control the situation. Strict action will be taken under the Forest Protection Act," Rane said.