Seven forest officials suspended in Madhya Pradesh

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BHOPAL - Seven forest officials have been suspended for negligence after it was found that a private telecom company had undertaken illegal digging and cable laying work in Ratapani and Singhori wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh, officials said Wednesday.

Those who have been suspended include a ranger, two deputy rangers and four forest guards.

Besides, show cause notices have been issued to superintendents of the two sanctuaries of the Obaidullahganj forest division for negligence and cases have been registered under relevant sections of the Forest Conservation Act against the telecom company.

The action was taken after Prayatna, an environmental action group, lodged a complaint in this connection on the basis of documents obtained under the provisions of the Right to Information Act.

The documents revealed that the company undertook digging and laying of optical fiber cable in interior areas of Ratapani and Singhori wildlife sanctuaries while it had permission to do so only outside the sanctuary.

Prayatna filed the complaint with the offices of the prime minister, union forest minister and state forest minister Nov 3 following which the office of Bhopal chief conservator of forests A.K. Bhattacharya recommended suspension of the officials and issued show-cause notices.

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