TODAY -
No casualty to Sangai, says officials
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 23 2009: The extensive fire that ravaged Keibul Lamjao National Park yesterday did not inflict any casualty on sangai, Forest Department officials said today.

Preliminary investigation at the spot revealed that the inferno engulfed a total area of about six acres spanning over separate places.

The that fire broke out in the morning ravaged an extensive areas of the Park before it faded in the evening at bout 8 pm ," said Keibul Range Forest Officer Th Bimolchandra.

Since the Forest office has no modern fire-fighting equipment at Keibul Lamjao, Forest officials have been depending on traditional fire-fighting methods by way of making numerous fire lines inside the Park.

Usually fire lines are of 10 to 20 meters in breadth", he said.

These fire lines proved a saviour for Sangai and other animals living in the Park.

It has been observed that yesterday's inferno could not cross beyond these fire lines, he claimed while adding that the fire lines are normally made ahead of the onset of winter season, Bimolchandra said.

He further informed that such wild fire broke out in the Park almost every year on windy days during winter season when leaves are dry.

No casualty was caused to Sangai or other animals inhabiting the Park by the fire, he informed.

"We have seen no signs of Sangai suffering casualty due to the fire.

The origin of the fire is yet to be ascertained but we do not rule out the possibility of the Park catching from beyond." A preliminary report of the inferno has been submitted to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) S Singsit at Imphal head office today through an officer who is looking after parks and sanctuaries, Bimolchandra said.

According to the 2003 census report, the population of Sangai in the park was 180, he added.

To obtain a more detailed report on the incident, the PCCF has asked his subordinate officer Additional CCF A Kharshiing to conduct an extensive survey at the park tomorrow" .

We are expecting a detailed report from the Additional PCCF.

And according to his report, we will do our best to protect the park," Singsit said.

He also instructed all the forest personnel numbering around 30 posted in the Park to remain on high alert to ensure no such incident occurs at the Park in future.

However, environmentalist RK Ranjan, taking serious note of the Forest Department depending on outdated methods of making fire lines to control wild fire, asserted that Forest officials stationed in the Park should be equipped with modern gadgets to fight fire.

Covering an area of 40 square kms, Keibul Lamjao, in Bishnupur district, is the only floating park in the world and the lone natural habitat of Sangai.


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