Hours after being filmed dousing forest fire with a bush and subsequently trolled over the social media for his act, Uttarakhand Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat justified his move by saying that he wanted to inspire others.
“I doused fire with a bush in a bid to send a message across masses to come forward and help in the time of crisis,” the Forest Minister told News18. On Monday night, the minister’s staff released a video in which the minister is purportedly seen dousing forest fire with a bush – a traditional way to control forest fire. In a short clip a camera crew is clearly seen capturing drama while the minister happily poses for the camera.
The clip widely shared across the social media left users amazed.
…And Action! #Uttarakhand forest minister #HarakSinghRawat tries to douse the #Forestfire with a bush. He was on his way in #Garhwal hills on Monday night. The camera crew captured all the action! #Forestfire #UttarakhandForestFire #uttarakhandnews pic.twitter.com/S2hQ8rUlVr— Anupam Trivedi (@AnupamTrivedi26) April 6, 2021
“This kind of tokenism will not solve the problem. Can we see more concrete measures Minister Saheb (sic)” tweeted one @narenddn The Congress in a tweet criticised minister for taking a camera crew in the forest to shoot an act of dousing fire with grass and bush.
The raging forest fire since early this year has till date gutted nearly 1,400 hectares of forest fire. Two helicopters of the Indian Air Force pressed into the service sprinkled water on Tuesday over the affected areas. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has sent a 21 member team to help teams in the hill state.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand High Court took suo moto cognisance of forest fires incidents and had ordered the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to appear before the court to apprise progress of the operations.
Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat told News18 that he is continuously in touch with the officials and every possible measure has been taken to control the wildfires in the State forest.