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Forest Ministry says not enough manpower


Neelu Vyas,CNN-IBN
Nov 15, 2007 at 11:10pm IST

New Delhi: The raging fire in California in October this year made headlines across the world. 20 days later, the Indian government held a meeting, only to realise that they are not equipped to handle a forest fire.

The Forest Ministry says that the latest technology to detect and monitor forest fires is available but they have not enough manpower.

According to the latest remote sensing technology available, the satellite takes pictures of the forest fires and maps out the region in this manner.

And then these pictures are emailed or faxed to the concerned state. Experts say that many states are reluctant to adopt this technology but if used it would make a considerable difference.

Head of National Remote Sensing Agency, Dr N S R Murty says, “It [the technology] can help in detecting, monitoring and assessing impact. It can immediately alert the concerned person.”

Ministry figures say every year roughly 1.3 million hectares get burnt during the annual fire season between February and June.

However, whenever a forest fire occurs, loss is assessed only in terms of timber but forest fires have a sizeable impact on the climate change because of huge carbon emissions.

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