Magsaysay winner ifs officer to probe corbett violations-


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Express News Service

DEHRADUN:  Uttarakhand forest department has appointed Magsaysay awardee and Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi to probe the alleged illegal constructions and tree felling in Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR). At present Chaturvedi is the Chief Conservator of Forest in the research wing of the department in Haldwani of Nainital district.

In an order dated November 2 by the head of the forest force (HoFF), Chaturvedi has been directed to submit the report within two weeks. Meanwhile, the state government has suspended BB Sharma, forest range officer of Pakhro range of the CTR. 

The development comes after the Uttarakhand High Court took suo moto cognisance of the matter on October 27 and issued notices to the state government. Earlier, a committee formed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had found that in order to allow illegal constructions, forest officials forged government records and violated laws. 

The committee was formed by the NTCA after a petition by Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a Supreme Court advocate, and wildlife activist.  “It’s a scam of more than Rs 150 crore. More than Rs 150 cr of CAMPA funds (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) have been illegally utilised for all these illegal constructions. Some officials of the CTR have destroyed the Corbett landscape only for the sake of money,” said Bansal.  The NTCA committee had recommended action, including vigilance inquiry, against officials, besides demolishing the illegal structures.

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