Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said various agencies in the state, which are dealing with fire-related incidents, from now onwards should work out a proper plan to handle wild forest fires.
He said such plans should include the incorporation of both traditional and modern methods.
Rio was addressing a joint meeting with the representatives of various organisations on matters relating to land issues and measures to control the wildfires that have devastated the area in and around Dzukou Valley and Kezoltsa forest area on Friday evening.
The representatives belonged to Tenyimi Peoples’ Organisation (TPO), Angami Public Organisation (APO), Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO) and Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO).
The meeting was briefed on the current situation regarding the forest fires.
It appreciated the efforts made for containing and dousing the fires by various State and Central agencies along with the volunteers of SAYO with the active support of SAPO.
Rio said good neighbourly relations between Nagaland and Manipur are of paramount importance for overall development.
According to a release issued by the press and media cell of the CMO, Rio was of the opinion that the TPO and SAPO should make all-out efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement of the disputed area.
Nagaland and Manipur have land disputes over the Dzukou Valley area.
The TPO gave a brief report of the history of the problems in these areas. It said traditionally, these areas belong to the Tenyimia group of people who were separated by the State boundaries of Nagaland and Manipur.
The organisation said it is still striving very hard to resolve the land disputes in the best interest of everyone through arbitration and the final judgment is in an advanced stage.
The TPO said earlier arbitration undertakings among various groups in the disputed area indicated that all the stakeholders are against destruction of forest flora and fauna, collection of forest produce, hunting and construction of roads.
TPO said the stakeholders are also in favour of maintaining traditional boundaries and other rights associated with it.
The TPO urged the Nagaland government to consider taking appropriate measures only after it delivers its final judgment in the disputed area.
The SAPO was also in full agreement with the views expressed by the TPO.
It felt that while the governments of Nagaland and Manipur may continue with their normal governmental correspondences, it is more advisable to consider carrying out activities in the disputed areas after the judgment of the TPO.
The matter regarding having a suitable water body close to the Dzukou Valley for aiding firefighting efforts was also discussed.
Rio was of the view that the departments concerned should start looking into this matter seriously and come up with a proper plan in this direction.
Meanwhile, a defence release on Saturday said teams of security forces from Spear Corps, along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), have been deployed to extinguish the Dzukou Valley wildfire, which is raging on since December 29 last year.
The teams, operating in the northern part across the Dzukou river, have been successful in dousing the fire in a large area and are creating fire lanes to arrest further spread.
The Spear Corps teams are also catering for critical logistics support to the NDRF team in Dzukou Valley, providing the much-needed impetus to the overall efforts, the release said.