Within two weeks, plantation fires must be put out."
Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered every stakeholder to help extinguish forest fires and to tackle haze engulfing parts of Indonesia over the past few weeks, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head Willem Rampangilei stated.

"The presidents instruction on the ongoing haze disaster is to extinguish the fires and end the haze problem immediately," Rampangilei remarked while visiting the command post of the forest fire task force at the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base, here, Thursday.

"Within two weeks, plantation fires must be put out," he quoted the president as saying.

The government will provide support in the efforts to fight the fires.

The mission could be deemed successful if there was no increase in the number of people infected by respiratory problems, students could resume their class activities, and airports could operate normally, he emphasized.

Earlier, President Jokowi had ordered security agencies to take action against companies that have burnt fields that led to haze in six provinces.

"I have ordered the national police chief to take as firm action as possible against companies that violate the laws," he said while inspecting a forest fire in Pulau Geronggang village in Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra, recently.

President Jokowi reminded all ministries/institutions, TNI (military)/police, and all related offices that prevention is the best policy.

He emphasized that companies violating the law must be held responsible, adding that on several earlier instances, he had cautioned many plantation companies that harsh actions would be taken against those found guilty of setting fire to their fields.

The head of state affirmed that companies must also be responsible for the areas around their fields.

"I have ordered the forestry minister to revoke the concession rights of the companies that break the law, and if a criminal case is involved, it will be processed by the police chief," he stated.

President Jokowi revealed that he had mobilized several people to conduct monitoring and control to handle the fires that had broken out since April.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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