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March 23, 2018
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Post-Theni tragedy, govt bans forest treksForest, Tourism depts issue directives imposing curbs

The Forest Department has imposed a temporary ban on forest trekking and has restricted entry into wildlife sanctuaries in the backdrop of the tragic incident at Theni in which several persons were charred to death in a forest fire.

A pressnote quoting Chief Wildlife Warden P.K. Kesavan said no one would be allowed to enter the forest without permission from Forest authorities. Wildlife sanctuaries would be reopened to the public only after Wildlife Wardens and Divisional Forest Officers ensured the safety of visitors. Visitors would be required to listen to a presentation on forest fire-prone areas, steps to be taken to prevent forest fires, and rescue measures to be adopted. Match boxes, lighters, tobacco products, and other inflammable materials would not be allowed. The pressnote said fire lines would be strengthened and forest officials and temporary watchers directed to be alert.

The Tourism Department has also issued a directive to regulate entry into forests in the wake of the forest fire in the Kurangani area. Tour operators had been issued notices on the restrictions, the pressnote said.