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Nagaland, Northeast

Fight to save Dzükou Valley from fire continues

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By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jan 04, 2021 12:16 am
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Indian Air Force’s Mi-17 helicopter is seen carrying water in a Bambi busket to douse wildfire at Dzükou Valley on Sunday.

Our Correspondent
Viswema, Jan. 3 (EMN):
The efforts to save the picturesque Dzükou Valley from the wildfire near Mount Tempü have paid off as government agencies, army personnel and volunteers have managed to prevent the ravaging fire from spreading to the valley and the adjoining areas.

The president of Southern Angami Youth Organisation (Sayo), Zakieleto Tsükrü, told journalists at Dzükou restaurant in Viswema, on Sunday that personnel of Nagaland Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Kohima Forest Division (KFD) along with Sayo volunteers have been camping to fight the inferno and that more volunteers would be deployed to assist the contingent.

Sapo representatives briefing the media on Sunday at Viswema. (Left to right) Ruopfukuotuo Noudi, SDO Jakhama, Sayo president Zakieleto Tsükrü and others. (EM Images)


Sayo executive member Khriese Sale, who was returning from Dzükou, updated that they had managed to prevent the fire to a ‘certain level to save the valley’ but the vegetation around Mount Tempü was still burning.

Tsükrü informed that about 9-10 square km of forest has been destroyed by the fire. He apprised that the trespassers, who were suspected of setting the fire on December 29, had left the valley through another route towards the south by the time Sayo volunteers reached the spot. ‘The caretakers (of Dzükou guest house) had taken photograph on them,’ he added.

He informed that the governments of Nagaland and Manipur had signed an agreement at a meeting held on November 26, 2018, that passage to Dzükou Valley would be permitted only through routes from Jakhama and Viswema. The meeting was held following increasing reports of trespassing and fire incidents at the valley, it was informed.

The Sayo went on to say that the trekkers had also violated the standing regulation by visiting Dzükou at a time when the authority has barred the public, including domestic and international tourists from visiting it owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sayo member Vithel Pusa said that visit to Dzükou Valley will not be allowed until further orders due to the prevailing situation.

Sayo president lauded Manipur government’s concern to stop the fire and updated that there was no loss of lives to both human and wildlife so far.

Meanwhile, the administration of Manipur reportedly confronted the Sapo representatives on the way to Dzükou but the security personnel intervened and prevented from escalating into an altercation.

It was also informed that personnel of District Executive Force (DEF) had joined the contingent to tackle the fire on Sunday and that few NDRF personnel and Sayo volunteers had stayed back in the valley. Sayo went on to inform that it would assign volunteers from three villages from the Southern Angami region everyday to monitor the situation in Dzükou.

24000 litres of water dropped
DPRO Kohima also updated that the wildfire “on the valley site” had been reportedly brought under control on Sunday. Four Indian Air Force helicopters made two trips each on the day, dropping a total of 24000 litres of water with 12 shuttles to douse the fire, it added.

It informed that ADC and CEO DDMA, Lithrongla Tongpi Rutsa along with DDMO Thejangulie Zao, DPA Kohima, Victor Yhome and some trained personnel visited the location.

“Early morning, fire watcher informed Range Forest Officer that fire was descending down on South West side. Immediately message was relayed to the control room to brief forces to start cutting fire line on that side to prevent further spread,” the press release read, adding that KFD personnel and Sayo volunteers undertook more fire line cutting on Sunday to contain the fire.

“According to DC, the fire is concentrated in area between Mt. Tempfu and Elephant gate (near the main Valley) which is descending down towards the valley. Rest of the area along the trekking route (From View point to Base camp area) where major fire were present for past two/three days have completely subsided,” it added.

The DC went on to inform that Advisor to Chief Minister, Medo Yokha, who is also the minister for Technical Education and Elections, inspected the valley along with SP Kohima, SDO Civil Jakhama, village representatives and others on January 2.

In another update, PIB Defence Wing informed that the Indian army is working with various central and state government organisations “in the ongoing effort to douse the wildfire in the popular tourist destination Dzükou Valley on Nagaland-Manipur border”.

6148
By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jan 04, 2021 12:16:56 am