Similipal forest fire sparks off Mayurbhanj bandh

The Samikhsya Bureau

BHUBANESWAR: The alleged failure of the State Government over control of the forest fire in Similipal region has sparked off a dawn-to-dusk bandh across Mayurbhanja district on Wednesday.

The 12-hour bandh call has been given by local outfit Bhanja Sena.

‘We have called for a 12-hour bandh on March 10 to put pressure on the government to take forest fire incidents seriously,’ Bhanja Sena founder Kalinga Keshari Jena told the media.

The outfit has a large number of youths as its members from across the district.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has alleged that the state government’s claim of gaining control over the forest fire in Similipal National Park is ‘untrue’.

The government is misleading people by claiming that the forest fire is under control, Congress spokesperson Sudarshan Das said.

NASA pictures show that 30 per cent of the fire is still active, he claimed.

Das further alleged that the statement of Forest and Environment Secretary Mona Sharma during the Chief Minister’s review meeting on the forest fire is false and misleading.

The Department has failed to involve the local communities in containing the forest fire, he stated.

He will submit a report to Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee on the situation soon, Das added.