Forest Department cries foul

By TheHindu on 27 Mar 2017 | read

A show cause notice has been issued by the Telangana Forest department to the Irrigation department officials of the Palamur-Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) for reported violations of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 by the latter.

The notice dated March 20 this year was addressed to the Executive Engineer of the PRLIS, Division-II, Kollapur-Nagarkurnool, by the Divisional Forest Officer of Nagarkurnool M.Joji, with reference of a report by a Forest Range Officer of Kollapur. The notice draws attention to the excavation work undertaken by the Irrigation officials in the Narlapur section of Kollapur Reserve Forest without prior permission from the central government mandated by the Forest Act.

Apart from the reference of FRO’s report, the letter also cites field inspection which revealed excavation approximately 400 meters long and six to 10 meters wide, with a depth of six to eight meters. It amounts violations in approximately 0.33 hectares of forest area, the letter says.

Mentioning various sections of the Forest Act, the letter said use of forest land or any portion thereof for non-forest purpose is prohibited under the Act, violation of which will attract penalty and imprisonment.

Further, it cited a government order issued in 2007, which issued detailed and precise procedures to be followed by all the government departments and agencies for taking non-forestry work in forest areas. The letter called for an explanation of the violations committed within 15 days of the receipt of the letter, failing which a report will be submitted to the state government for necessary action. A copy of the notice was marked for the Superintendent Engineer of the PRLIS, Field Director of teh Amrabad Tiger Reserve, Achampet, District Collector, and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests who is the nodal officer.

The DFO M.Joji in whose name the notice was issued, however, refused to comment on the issue.

Swathi Vadlamudi