Mayurbhanj: Alleging lackadaisical attitude of the Forest Department and registering their protest against the major fire that broke out in the world-acclaimed Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary of late, a local outfit, named Bhanja Sena, has given a bandh call across the district on March 10.
The bandh (shut down protest) to be observed for 12 hours on the day from dawn to dusk, sources said.
On the contrary, the Wildlife Sanctuary authorities have claimed that the core area of the sanctuary is safe and secured while the fire that broke out in the buffer zone and foothill areas is under control now.
The raging blaze was controlled due to the concerted efforts of 750 forest staff, 250 temporary fire watchers and 250 fire blowers. Even 40 vehicles of the Forest Department were pressed into action.
Similipal Tiger Project Deputy Director Jagyandutta Pati informed that a strict vigil has been kept on the areas. Five fire tender vans of the District Fire Services Department have been deployed at various strategic points.
The District Police have also taken steps in this regard.
Mayurbhanj SP P. Parmar Smith informed that a police helpline number, 06792-252325, has been put in place for the general public to inform on the forest fire whenever noticed so that prompt action could be taken.