Wednesday, November 14, 2012

COVER STORY | Raj Niwas v/s Van Sadan


Raj Niwas v/s Van Sadan

By Zubair Ahmed

 The haste with which Raj Niwas acted on the DFO issue too raises many questions. On the file, the Lieutenant Governor writes that anti-corruption may submit their report on the issue and meanwhile, the DFO should be transferred from Little Andaman. The order of transfer was issued by Satish Mathur, Secretary to LG from Raj Niwas instead of Van Sadan. What was the interest of Satish Mathur who showed superfluous interest in the case? Why the case is referred to anti-corruption is another mystery.

The case instead of going to PCCF for taking action was dealt directly at Raj Niwas and was informed to the Addl PCCF instead of the PCCF.
There is a very visible rift between the top echelons of Forest Dept and the ANI Admn. For the first time, the Islands have two Principal Secretaries for Forest and Environment and Wildlife. DV Negi, PCCF, it's learnt is not in the good books of Raj Niwas. The Admn, is in a quandary with many of its vital tourism projects held up for environmental clearances. Without proper homework and half-hearted efforts, when the proposals are sent for environmental clearances, the files get held up for want of proper information, which is unavailable with the Admn.

To overcome the log jam, overriding the desk of DV Negi, the Admn found a new shortcut - installing Shashi Kumar, PCCF, Wildlife as Principal Secretary, Environment and Science & Technology. The stake of many bureaucrats in the tourism projects go beyond their brief. In fact, they have a stake in the projects, which need not get the expected impetus from the Dept of Environment and Forest, as they are doing their mundane job.
Speaking to The Light of Andamans, a senior forest official said that if the Bureaucrats need any forest produce for their own use, they will go out of their way and plunge to any level to achieve it. Why can't they show same kind of interest in the official matters?

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