Chamarajnagar: The state government has ordered an inquiry by head of the forest force, Punnati Sridhar, into the fire, which has devastated vast tracts of forests in the Bandipur National Park here.
Minister for forests and environment, Satish Jharkiholi, who was supervising the operation to douse the fire at the park on Tuesday , said Mr Sridhar was expected to submit his report in about 10 days and action would be taken against forest officials if they were found guilty of any lapses in tackling it.
“The fire appears to have been started by some mischief-makers with a good knowledge of the wind direction to see that it spreads quickly over big tracts of the park. Had it been a natural forest fire , it would have been a different story. You need a different approach to douse a natural forest blaze from a man-made fire,” he explained, speaking to Deccan Chronicle.
But he added that this did not let the forest staff off the hook and the government would wait for Mr Sridhar’s report to see if they had acted quickly enough to contain the fire.
The minister said forest officials had made an effort to win over villagers on the periphery of the park to gain their cooperation in protecting it by trying to prevent man- animal conflict in the region that was causing them much grief. Elephant-proof trenches had been dug to prevent straying of wild animals into the villages as part of the exercise, he revealed....