Like Rome Was Burning And Nero Was...Same Here In Simlipal As Bosses Do Gold Filling In Mouth Of Decay !

  • | Saturday | 13th March, 2021


India`s largest National Park, and Asia`s 2nd largest Biosphere Reserve, spreading over 2,750 sq kms is being dealt with secondary importance by the forest and environment department bosses. Several ranges comprising of Hadgarh wildlife sanctuary  (191.06 sq kms) and Kuldiah Wildlife sanctuary  (93.77 sq kms) have already born the burnt of an inferno of unprecedented magnitude. 

It`s home to 42 species of mammals,  242 species of birds, this park is a treasure house of 1076 species of plants belonging to 102 families which include myriad medicinal plants and herbs now in flames. 

Like, while Rome was burning and Nero was fiddling with the flute,  the department officials have taken the significance of this unique eco-reserve with shocking lightness and hoot.  A tropical deciduous forest Simlipal`s name derived from the abundance of Red Cotton Silk trees(Simili) in the park besides 96 species of Orchids but they are mainly in flames.

The formation of a special task force after several days and patches of our heritage burnt to ashes is equally shocking as the fire itself.  The question that stares at all of us, and mainly at the forest authorities, is, were the authorities ignorant about the dangers or they were in a slumber of eminence.

STF! A Gold-filling In Mouth Of Decay!

Equally jocular is the constitution of a special task force  (STF) so late in the day, is like gold-filling in a mouth of decay! The STF is heavily crowded by the same forest officials and a few malleable individuals but minus any organisation or NGOs active in forest conservation, are no where in the STF. How many tribals from the area are there in the STF?

This implies that the outcome of the probe or action by the STF, which is not mandated to take any punitive measures, is a meaningless effort like a knee-jerk reaction only. Simlipal is burning since last almost two weeks and after visiting the place after almost a week, the PCCF sounded astonishingly complacent and said that the fire was in control substantially.  

Which forest he was alluding at? Or was it the mere luxury of conviction he enjoyed from among the assembly of the field officials he had the feedbacks from? 

16000 Spots Are In Flames 

About sixteen thousand spots of the state`s forest are in flames yet there is not a single line of admission by the forest and environment people that, yes it is a  failure. 

Fire in several forest divisions is still active and the department is yet not able to wriggle out of the ambits of the Standard Operating Procedures  (SOP).

Nobody knows what the 1200 odd Bana Suraksha Samitis were doing? Whose responsibility is to activate the Samitis when it is common knowledge that, fires do occur in March and the department cannot absolve of its responsibility.

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