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Ravi makes maiden visit to Dzükou amid ravaging fire

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Dec 31, 2020 3:36 pm

Sapo seeks government’s attention to protect the valley

A section of the green hillocks that turned black after the ravaging fire on Wednesday below Dzükou Valley. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Dec. 31 (EMN): Nagaland Governor RN Ravi on December 30 said that stern action will be taken against those miscreants behind the arson at Dzükou Valley and its surroundings which are home to many species of flora and fauna.

Southern Angami Public Organisation (Sapo) informed that the fire has been raging on and already penetrated the helipad in Dzükou and moving towards the valley.

Ravi’s maiden visit to Dzükou amidst ravaging fire

Interacting with Eastern Mirror right after reaching Kohima from Dzükou, Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO) information and publicity secretary Kevipopi Ltu and active member Voto Neikha said that the governor visited Dzükou along with his family.

According to them, the governor expressed “sadness” over the destruction of the natural environment in Dzükou and its surrounding areas; he also assured all possible help to douse and prevent the raging wildfire from spreading further.

Upon his maiden visit to Dzükou with his family, Ravi termed the scenic valley as a “blessing from God,” and reminded the Southern Angami people to continue protecting the famed valley despite the difficulties and challenges.

RN Ravi with his family in Dzükou Valley on Wednesday. (EM Images)

Sapo has appealed to all its citizens, various organisations and government agencies to come forward to douse the fire and continue to support the organisation in preserving, protecting and promoting the biodiversity and its resources.

It may be mentioned that unidentified miscreants had set fire ahead of the governor’s maiden visit to Dzükou on December 29.

Southern Angami Youth Organisation (Sayo) President Zakieleto Tsükrü, informed this newspaper on December 29 that they were unable to track down the suspected persons who trespassed Dzükou and set fire near it.

‘The fire has already spread across 8 km,’ said Neikha, adding that the numerous hillocks, mounds, gorges etc. covered with flourishing vegetation have ‘already been completely burnt down to ashes’.

“The fire looks beyond our control,” he shared.

He said that the fresh vegetation destroyed by the ravaging fire will not recover even in hundred years. ‘For lifetime, no form of substitution will recover what has already been damaged by the fire,’ Neikha sighed.

‘We are thankful to our governor, who despite of the risk, took trouble to visit Dzükou to take stock of the situation,’ said Ltu.

Maintaining that Sapo and its frontal organisations, particularly Sayo, have been rendering services to protect, promote and preserve the valley, they sought the attention of the state government to provide assistance to safeguard it and its biodiversity from miscreants who over the years have been setting fire to burn the landscape with “ill-intent”.

When the whole world is promoting global awareness on environmental protection and while Nagas are trying to protect and preserve Dzükou Valley and Japfü as a biodiversity resources, culprits are burning vast acres of virgin forests in Dzükou and its surrounding areas,’ he said.

Ltu shared that they have been taking care of both Dzükou and Japfü range and their watersheds. ‘We expect the government to come forward and look into the matter so that the watershed management is not affected in the future,’ he said.

Sapo maintained that Dzükou Valley and Japfü range are not only rich in natural resources but also serve as sources of water for the people in the southern Angami region as well as to many in Kohima town.

Reiterating that enough damage has been done to Dzükou consistently over the years, Ltu said the valley and Japfü range need urgent protection from disaster; safeguard the ecological balance and ensure that water source is not affected. “As Amazon is the lungs of the Earth, so are Dzükou and Japfü range the lungs of Kohima,” Neikha said.

Reacting to reports that Dzükou Valley is “a part of Southern Angami region,” Sapo clarified that the “entire Dzükou Valley and its surroundings purely belong to Southern Angami people”.

Meanwhile, Sapo has acknowledged Ravi for “walking the talk” by visiting Dzükou to assess the gravity of the situation despite the risks.

The governor and his family was accompanied by the DC of Kohima, Mohammed Ali Shihab, SP of Kohima, Manoj Kumar, IGAR North and others.

Ravi and his team started their journey from Khiyosa base camp at around 8:30 am and reached Dzükou Valley by foot at 11:30 am on Dec. 30.

Meanwhile, Sapo has requested trekkers to obtain permission from Sayo prior to their visit to Dzükou Valley when it is opened to public while cautioning once again that trespassers will be penalised.

The permitted passages to Dzükou Valley are the two routes from Viswema and Jakhama.

Dzükou, which is  situated at an altitude of 2452 m above the sea level, attracts scores of international and domestic tourists.

Ltu informed on Dec. 30 that a team from the Forest department and Disaster Management Authority along with volunteers of Sayo would be visiting the valley on Dec. 31 and choppers of the Indian Air Force would be pressed into service to battle the blaze.

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Dec 31, 2020 3:36:51 pm