Former DFO ignores queries on Corbett scam despite head of forest force issuing notice | Dehradun News

Dehradun: Former divisional forest officer (DFO) of Kalagarh, the zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) where multiple illegal constructions were recently reported, hasn’t responded to queries made by the head of forest force (HoFF) on how the illegal activities occurred at the zone on his watch. After all the efforts to connect with the former DFO Kishanchand through registered post and email went unanswered, HoFF Vinod Kumar Singhal posted notices in a Hindi newspaper on January 1, sources said.
Kishanchand was one of the over 30 forest officers to be transferred on orders of chief minister Dhami over Corbett illegalities on November 25. However, he joined his new posting at the HoFF office in Dehradun only after 23 days on December 18. In fact, one of the notices published in the newspaper directed him to attend office regularly.
When TOI contacted Kishanchand, he refused to share any details, saying “It is an official matter, therefore no comments.”
The other notice directed the former DFO to present a report explaining illegal construction, tree felling and financial irregularities in violation of some of the most stringent wildlife laws in the country. Copies of both notices, written in Hindi, are with TOI.
The second notice says, “On December 17, a report was sought from you on financial irregularities, the construction of Kandi road, construction on the premises of Morghatti and Pakhro forest rest houses and a water body near it, illegal felling of trees near the proposed Pakhro Tiger Safari site, all in violation of Indian Forest Act, 1927, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Wildlife (Conservation) Act, 1972. However, there has been no communication from your end till date, despite the query being sent via email as well registered post at your home addresses on December 20.”
The post was returned as it was not received by anyone, the notice added.
It also said that an email will be sent to Kishanchand’s official id and if he doesn’t respond to that, it will be deemed that he has received the communication and based on that, further action will be taken.
Illegal constructions were first detected in some of the most sensitive zones of Corbett in June last year and an internal enquiry was subsequently set up. By September-end, a team from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) confirmed illegal construction and tree felling, saying in a communication to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), that it could have occurred either due to laxity of officials or their connivance with miscreants. A probe into the matter is underway.

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