Case filed against Vodafone, 7 forest officials suspended
Bhopal: Seven forest officials including a
Ranger have been suspended and a case was registered against a
multi-national telecom company for laying cables without
permission in two wildlife sanctuaries of Obaidullahganj
forest division in Madhya Pradesh.
"Seven forest officials were suspended yesterday for
negligence of duty as it was found during a probe that the
Vodafone Company had undertaken illegal digging and cable
laying work in Ratapani and Singhori Wildlife Sanctuaries
between August and October this year," official sources said
Besides, show-cause notices have also been served upon
the Superintendents of Ratapani and Singhori Sanctuaries - R K
Dixit and C S Dubey on November 23, they said.
The state government took action against these
officials on a complaint lodged by an environmental action
group "Prayatna" with the Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister
Sartaj Singh last month besides, the Prime Minister and Union
Forest Minister, sources said.
Following the complaint, Chief Conservator of Forests
of Bhopal Dr A K Bhattarcharya had recommended suspension of
these officials on November 30 on the basis of a report given
by the Divisional Forest Officer of Obaidullahganj Forest
Division after conducting a probe, they said. A case has been registered against Vodafone Essar
South Limited Company under relevant sections of Forest
Conservation Act, sources said.
Earlier, the Prayatna member, Shehla Masood obtained
documents through Right to Information Act which showed that
the Vodafone Company had undertook the work in the protected
areas of two Sanctuaries without permission from forest
authorities, sources said.
The documents also showed that the company was given
permission to lay cable outside areas of both Sanctuaries till
Ghat Pipalia only, they said.