Official doctors Natarajan’s note, transferred
A senior Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer has been sent back to his parent cadre for allegedly manipulating documents to give forest clearance to a hydel project in Himachal Pradesh. Chetan Chauhan reports.delhi Updated: Sep 21, 2011 23:09 IST
A senior Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer has been sent back to his parent cadre for allegedly manipulating documents to give forest clearance to a hydel project in Himachal Pradesh.
On environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan's orders, the officer has been sent to Himachal Pradesh after he allegedly photocopied her note and used to it approve a totally unrelated hydel project.
An inquiry has been ordered against the official of the rank of assistant inspector general of forests. HT has withheld his name as vigilance inquiry against is yet to commence and efforts to contact him failed.
The minister in the first week of September received a letter from Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal regarding relaxation of conditions imposed on two hydro-projects approved by former environment minister Jairam Ramesh.
Ramesh had approved two projects of the five projects in Ravi river basin in Chamba district of the state with the condition that no work will start till the river basin study is completed and its recommendations are complied with. The other three projects were kept pending till the study was completed.
Dhumal requested Natarajan to relax the condition saying that the locals were facing problems and power projects were urgently required.
The minister prepared a hand written note regarding two approved projects and marked it with Dhumal's letter to the official. As per the ministry's preliminary inquiry, the official called for the file and asked his subordinates to get photocopies of the minister's note and Dhumal's letter done.
On September 9, he allegedly attached the photocopies in the file of an unapproved hydro project in Ravi basin and wrote that the competent authority had approved the project.
Sources said Natarajan learnt about the development late last week. Although the minister wanted to suspend him, she relented on the insistence of other senior officials.
Natarajan refused to comment on the issue.
First Published: Sep 21, 2011 23:03 IST