Why are forest employees on election duty? Supreme Court's tough questions to central and state government on the burning forests of Uttarakhand

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The bench said that this is a regrettable situation. You are just making excuses. As the court continued hearing petitions on forest fire in Uttarakhand, lawyer Parmeshwar today said there is a severe fire there and 40 per cent of the forest is under fire. It could not be extinguished.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took on the Uttarakhand government over forest fires in the state, asking why forest fire personnel were deployed on election duty. After giving this information to the court, the top court asked the lawyer of Uttarakhand government that why have you put the forest firefighters on election duty amidst the fire? Responding to the bench, a state official said that election duty is over and the Chief Secretary has directed him not to put any officer on election duty. The bench said that this is a regrettable situation. You are just making excuses. As the court continued hearing petitions on forest fire in Uttarakhand, lawyer Parmeshwar today said there is a severe fire there and 40 per cent of the forest is under fire. It could not be extinguished. Responding to the lawyer, the lawyer of Uttarakhand said that no new fire has started. The lawyer further argued that the state government has not received funds from the Center to deal with the forest fires.

A six-member committee of the Center and the state can help so that these fires can be controlled. We are in a position to extinguish the fire. More than 9,000 people are working, and 420 cases have been reported. We are having a meeting. The Chief Minister (Pushkar Singh Dhami) is trying his best every other day. The lawyer said that funding is a big issue now. If there was proper funding the situation would have been better. The Center will have to come forward to help the state. As the bench asked the lawyer whether he had done anything to purchase equipment as there were 280 fires in Uttarakhand alone, the lawyer said, “We had filled 1,205 posts last year and the rest is in the process. When asked why the vacancy was not filled, the lawyer said, we are in the process of recruitment.

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