The Uttarakhand forest branch has instituted an inquiry into alleged financial irregularities in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) all through final five years.
Jai Raj, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Uttarakhand forest branch said on Sunday that he has ordered an inquiry into the allegations of financial irregularities in Rajaji Tiger reserve all through the final five years.
“I have ordered the charter of a four-member probe committee in this regard which will submit its outline inside two months”, he said. HT has a copy of the order issued on Friday (October 23).
It says the inquiry has been ordered following complaints in 2018 by three men involved with wildlife issues – Dinesh Chandra Pandey, Rajeev Mehta and Aditya Sharma. An earlier probe had found irregularities in the Motichur range of RTR. The outline in the matter used to be submitted in March 2019 which stated that there have been financial irregularities in the range, particularly with regard to approving receipts without scrutiny, removal of Lantana grass, food receipts of patrolling staff and so forth.
According to the PCCF’s order, when range officers/forest officials were asked approximately the irregularities in Motichur range, they said such things were happening in other ranges of RTR also. This makes it lucid that financial irregularities have been dedicated in RTR on a big level, the order states.
The four-member probe committee constituted by PCCF includes extra PCCF (administration), chief conservator of forests (personnel), financial controller state forest branch and honorary warden RTR.
RTR spread over 820 sq km in three districts of Uttarakhand- Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal, used to be established in 1983. In April 2015, Rajaji used to be declared as a tiger reserve, fitting the second one tiger reserve in the state after Corbett Tiger Reserve.
RTR is home to 23 species of mammals and over 300 species of birds. It has 38 tigers while the whole Rajaji landscape has 52 tigers, as per the newest All India Tiger Estimation Outline.