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Whistleblower Sanjeev Chaturvedi confined to research institute in Uttarakhand

dehradun Updated: Nov 15, 2017 20:57 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,whistleblower,Sanjeev Chaturvedi

Sanjeev Chaturvedi.(HT File Photo.)

IFS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi may have earned his spurs as a whistleblower but the Uttarakhand government seems to be overlooking his candidature for the crucial post of intelligence head of the forest department.

Known for run-ins with former bosses over his tough stand against corruption, the 2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer is now serving as a conservator of forest at a training institute in faraway Haldwani.

Recently, additional principal chief conservator of forest Dhananjai Mohan was transferred to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) as its chief operating officer. Mohan also looked after wildlife and intelligence sections. These positions are vacant till further notice.

The post of intelligence head holds significance considering Uttarakhand has more than 45% of its land covered by forests. The state has the highest density of tigers in Indian. Given its strategic location and abundance of wildlife, smuggling of animal parts are often reported from the state.

Chaturvedi’s name is not being considered even as Samir Sinha, who was the chief executive officer of CAMPA, is believed to be a front-runner for the post of intelligence head. Sinha had worked with TRAFFIC India for wildlife conservation. “He (Chaturvedi) will deliver results and that’s not what either the department or the government wants,” a forest officer said.

After reports of illegal permits issued to chop down pines in Champawat forest division, similar reports have come from Almora and Bageshwar divisions. On October 31, a meeting of forest officials noted that similar complaints were coming from Kumaon. In a letter, Head of forest force (HoFF) RK Mahajan directed Kapil Joshi, chief conservator of forest (CCF), Forest Training Institute, Haldwani to hold inquiry in Almora, CCF BP Gupta for Almora civil soyam area and CCF Vivek Pandey for Bageshwar forest division. Hindustan Times has a copy of the letter.

In October 19, HT reported that Chaturvedi submitted a report to Mahajan recommending action against suspended Champawat divisional forest officer AK Gupta for grant of illegal permits to chop down pines. Incidentally, the Ramon Magsaysay Award winner was without posting for three months after he joined Uttarakhand in August last year. It was only in November when he got the posting in Haldwani.

But cabinet minister Madan Kaushik has a different view. “We don’t always get a job matching our capabilities. I am sure we will use his expertise like that of other officers in state,” he assured HT.

Chaturvedi refuses to comment, saying he will deliver whatever responsibility he is assigned with. “I will work with 100% honesty wherever I will be posted.”

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 20:57 IST