Shimla: Over 500 forest fire cases have been reported from Himachal Pradesh affecting an area of over 2600 hectare of forests in the state.
These forest fire incidents in the state have caused an estimated loss of nearly Rs 49,000, which is expected to rise in days to come as forest fire incidents are increasing each day.
The forest fire incidents in and around Shimla town are also increasing each day. The local residents in Totu, Chakkar, Tara Devi, Shogi, Bhatakufer and Mehli areas say they are facing troubles due to the forest fire.
Locals allege that neither forest department nor any fire department responds to their information of fire in the region.
Praveen, a local of Chakkar area of Shimla said: "We called the fire services yet no fire brigade or firemen came to our rescue. The administration also did not help us nor take any information regarding the forest fire."
"Ultimately we had to douse the fire with whatever water we had collected on our own," he added.
Locals in Chakkar and Totu on Monday and Tuesday had to collectively save the forests from fire and also had narrow escape by saving their houses from the forest fire.
They alleged that the forest and fire departments spend a huge amount of money to constitute fire fighting teams but they all have failed to control the incidents of the forest fire. They also said that the forest department's claims of helicopters being deputed to control the forest fire are just fake claims.
Anay Kant, another resident said: "We left everything and started dousing the fire as soon as we got to know that the forest fire is reaching our homes. The government claims to have to spend a lot on controlling the forest fires but nobody in the administration responded to our calls for help."
"Either the information has not reached the officials or they are not doing anything about it," he further added.
Locals say they hired labourers to control the forest fire. Dev Raj, one of the local labourers said: "We reach the spot and try to douse the fire as soon as possible. We don't know about the help from the administration as we were busy in our work."
The forest minister of the state, Govind Singh said that despite all efforts to sensitize the people about the forest they could not stop these incidents.
He said that the department has announced money rewards for those informing about those responsible for fire in the forests....