Around the same time, barely 300 km away in hill state Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun, chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat was huddled in an emergency meeting to deal with the spreading forest fire in the state. His state, along with neighbouring hill state Himachal Pradesh, is witnessing unprecedented wildfires. The situation is getting worse by the day as the region has had a prolonged dry spell, leaving the forest floor “tinder dry”.
Uttarakhand and Himachal see the most forest fires in India every year. The Forest Survey of India (FSI) has identified the woodlands along the south, west and southwest regions of Uttarakhand— including Dehradun, Hardwar, Garhwal, Almora, Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar and Champawat districts— as the most vulnerable in terms of the frequency and intensity of wildfires. This year, Nainital, Almora, Tehri and Pauri districts have been the worst hit.
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A TRAGEDY OF ERRORS
MASS CREMATIONS, THE SCRAMBLE FOR HOSPITAL BEDS, THE DESPERATE HUNT FOR MEDICAL OXYGEN, THE PUBLIC OUTCRY, THE PERSONAL TRAGEDIES—HOW COVID’S SECOND WAVE HAS EXPOSED THE ABJECT FAILURE OF THE INDIAN STATE
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