Puncturing the tall claims made by the State Vigilance Commission (SVC) of accelerating the speed of disposing complaints, over 84 percent of the total complaints registered with the department are still pending.
According to the official spokesperson, out of over 329 complaints, the department has disposed off 51 complaints, besides 16 Regular Departmental Actions (RDAs).
In this regard, the forest department has also terminated the services of one employee, appointed illegally and affected recovery of substantial amount while action on remaining complaints, enquiries and RDAs would be completed within two months.
This information was given to the State Vigilance Commission (SVC) while reviewing the progress of the cases pending with the Forest Department at a meeting held under the chair of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner here today. In total there were 329 complaints, 50 RDAs pending with the department for action.
Vigilance Commissioner, Gous-un-Nisa, Principal Secretary Forest, R K Gupta, Special Secretary Forest Department, Riyaz Ahmad, Chief Vigilance Officer, Forest Department, Secretary SVC, Jitender Singh besides other senior officers from Forest and SVC were present in the meeting.
The Commission was informed that one senior IFS officer has been exclusively nominated and authorized to conduct departmental and other enquiries into the complaints pending with the department to ensure early clearance of the backlog. It was also given out that an FIR has been registered against the then Managing Director, State Forest Corporation in Police Station VOK, Srinagar while outstanding amount was recovered from Range Mangers of State Forest Corporation (SFC).
It was also revealed that a new Committee has been constituted to conduct inquiry in to the allegations against the officials of SFC, Doda and the Committee has been asked to submit a report early. The department has framed a new Departmental Inquiry Committee for conducting fresh inquiries where department was not satisfied with the reports submitted by the previous Committees.
It was brought in to the notice of the commission that seized timber remains lying in police stations for years together without being handed over to the forest department. The Principal Secretary Forest will issue a circular to ensure that the timber seized by the police and any other agencies is handed over to jurisdictional divisional forest officer on “Superdnama” for ensuring safe custody of the Government property.
Emphasizing on strict adherence of E-tendering, the Commission asked the officers for its strict compliance as per government orders. “The process of issuing NOCs online to the industrialists by the Pollution Control Board (PCB) will also be put in place shortly”, the Principal Secretary informed.
The Commission asked the officers of the Forest department to coordinate with Revenue Department so that forest land is demarcated and secured from encroachment. It also underlined need for ensuring VAT and deduction of tax at source in case of all payments as per Government instructions and directed the officers of the department to issue appropriate instruction to the subordinate offices so that VAT or any other admissible tax is deducted from the contractors etc while making payments.