Villagers setting trees on fire for picking mahua flower

Central Chronicle News
Konta, Mar 02: In view of the Mahua flower and Tendupatta season these days the villagers living in the forest area are setting trees on fire for their own benefit and this results in fire spreading to nearby jungle as well. In contrast, the forest management committee set up by the forest department is seen only on papers with claims about protection of Forest.
With beginning of summer season the fruits from tree start falling from Mahua trees. To lift it villagers set on fire the dry leaves and figs under the trees and clean the forest. The fire by the villagers to pick mahua flowers gradually engulfs entire nearby areas. These days due to the fall of Mahua flowers in the forest people living in rural areas are collecting the same by setting fire in small portion under the tree. It is said that in the forests here Mahua flowers and tendu leaves are collected every year by the people of the rural areas by setting fire, but even then, no appropriate measures are taken to prevent forest fires by the representatives of the forest department. On the one hand, due to the fire lighted by the villagers, there is a continuous loss of small trees in the forests, shrubs as well as big trees apart from affecting the wildlife.
Damage to small plants
With the arrival of Mahua season in the region, the fire has started in the forest. More than half of the district has lush green forest. The villagers are setting fire to some parts of forest in order to collect Mahua flowers. Due to which small plants of the forest are being burnt and destroyed. These days the percentage of green forest cover is sharply decreasing every year in the world. In such a situation, the greenery around Sukma district provides relief to the people. The large tract of the district still has forest filled with trees of Teak and other species. In the last few years, the incident of fire in the forests has increased with arrival of the summer season. People set fire to the forests for fertilizer in the fields to pick-up Mahua. Due to which new growing plants are destroyed and cannot be replenished.
The arson is due to lack of publicity of the forest department. Initiatives are not taken by the forest department to save the fire in the forests and large section of forest is burning every year. In the circle of Sukma Forest division, there is absolutely no publicity to save the forests from fire. To save the forests from fire, lakhs of rupees is spent on paper in the name of publicity. The villagers of the area are unaware even today and unknowingly the villagers are setting fire to mahua under the tree, causing it to spread in the entire forest. By the time it is detected, the fire had already spread to nearby jungle. And the department has to face difficulties in extinguishing it.

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