Advertisement
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
Snapshot

In The Line Of Fire

Why does a forest in Kashmir catch fire? Well, even peacetime looks like war in the border areas. Artillery fire from across, and our own firing ranges, constantly singe the woods.

In The Line Of Fire
In The Line Of Fire
outlookindia.com
2021-05-07T13:56:53+05:30

Forests catch fire for many reasons, but near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, there is an additional factor: routine cross-LoC shelling that has long been a marker of strained Indo-Pak relations in these parts even when the two countries are not at war. No wonder, not just people living close to the LoC but also the forests breathe a little more freely when the mortars fall silent. And the mortars have ind­eed been silent since the two neighbours agreed to a “strict observance ceasefire” in February. Earlier, according to forest officials, mortar shelling was leading to frequent forest fires.

“Forests in areas like Saidpur and Badar Kot used to catch fire due to ­regular shelling, and the fires were ­difficult to extinguish amid continuous shelling and firing,” says an official. Until last year, there were fires every year in the forests along the LoC ­during summer, especially in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district and Karnah sector in Kashmir—all ­attributed to cross-LoC shelling. In May last year, a massive fire engulfed a large forested stretch at Mendhar in Balakote sector of Poonch district. Exploding shells caused the fire, which, in turn, triggered several ­landmines that had been planted to ­prevent infiltration. In May 2017, Nowshera witnessed a forest fire that raged for several days after heavy shelling across the LoC.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

India Needs To Speed Up Vaccination In View Of Omicron: Top Virologist Shahid Jameel

India Needs To Speed Up Vaccination In View Of Omicron: Top Virologist Shahid Jameel

Eminent virologist Shahid Jameel speaks to Outlook about the new Covid variant Omicron and its implications.

Farm Laws Repealed But For Maharashtra Farmers, The Misery Is Far From Over

Farm Laws Repealed But For Maharashtra Farmers, The Misery Is Far From Over

In addition to man-made calamities, natural disasters have been a continual problem. Maharashtra is sitting on a huge agrarian crisis.

Omicron Scare Looms Over IND Tour Of SA, BCCI Awaits Govt Nod

Omicron Scare Looms Over IND Tour Of SA, BCCI Awaits Govt Nod

Several sporting events have been cancelled due to the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron. India are scheduled to tour South Africa for a full series.

India Reaches Out To African Nations Affected By Omicron Variant Of Covid-19

India Reaches Out To African Nations Affected By Omicron Variant Of Covid-19

India has expressed solidarity with the African nations affected by Omicron and said it is ready to step in with aid.

Advertisement