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Uttarakhand forest fires: Supreme Court takes tough stance, says ‘no forest officials for election duty’

As the state battles to contain hundreds of active wildfires, the Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the Centre and the Uttarakhand government, raising serious concerns about a lack of funding and the assignment of guards to election-related tasks.

Written by  Shgun S -- May 15th 2024 03:49 PM
Uttarakhand forest fires: Supreme Court takes tough stance, says ‘no forest officials for election duty’

Uttarakhand forest fires: Supreme Court takes tough stance, says ‘no forest officials for election duty’

Uttarakhand forest fires: As the state battles to contain hundreds of active wildfires, the Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the Centre and the Uttarakhand government, raising serious concerns about a lack of funding and the assignment of guards to election-related tasks.

The Supreme Court summoned the Uttarakhand chief secretary to appear before it on May 17 over the Uttarakhand government's 'lackadaisical' response to fires.


The Supreme Court ruled that no state shall deploy forest officials or forest department vehicles for poll duty.

The Supreme Court has questioned why only Rs 3.14 crore of the over Rs 9 crore disbursed by the Centre last year was used to prevent forest fires. In addition, the chief secretary will be questioned about the deployment of forest officials in spite of an Election Commission exemption, a shortage of firefighting supplies, and the significant number of open positions in the forest department.

The bench, which was led by Justice BR Gavai and included Justices SVN Bhatti and Sandeep Mehta, noted that despite the preparation of numerous action plans, no concrete steps were taken to put them into effect.

- With inputs from agencies

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