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Major fire breaks out at biodiversity hotspot, Bahour lake

Chennai, Aug 3 (BPNS)

A major fire has broken out at Bahour Lake bordering Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at the early morning hours of Thursday. The lake is located in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and is the second-largest lake in Puducherry.

The exact cause of the fire is not yet ascertained. Forest officials of Tamil Nadu told BPNS that initial investigations have revealed that the fire was man-made.

Forest teams from both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and fire tenders are involved in dousing the fire.

A senior officer of the Tamil Nadu forest department while speaking to BPNS said, “We are at present focusing on dousing the fire and the reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained. However we strongly doubt that it is man-made. Further investigations will be carried out once the fire is doused.”

The official said that there are cases of illegal fishing and farming activities in the lake and surrounding areas and even after strict warning this has been taking place.

T.P. Raghunath, director, Svarnim Puducherry, Sri Aurobindo society while speaking to media persons alleged that some farmers could have set fire to the lake with the intention of expanding their farming activities.

He said that Bahour lake was a biological hotspot and farmers by resorting to illegal cultivation have disturbed the habitats of birds including peacocks and other small mammals.

Raghunath demanded that the collectors of Cuddalore and Puducherry must ensure that all encroachments on the lake are evicted without delay.

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