Where it stands at the moment, then it is believed that there are financial irregularities in the way Rajaji Tiger Reserve has been running, of late. Shocker on Monday, one didn’t see coming? Not the most positive piece of news you want to hear in connection with a critical subject of wildlife anyway- right?
But as a matter of fact, in the past half a decade worth of time period, there appear to be financial irregularities in the way one of India’s famous national parks is being run.
On Sunday, the Uttarakhand Forest Department made it clear to the Indian media that an inquiry had been ordered into the allegations concerning the way the Rajaji Tiger Reserve had been running.
To delve more into the breaking development from the pious land of Uttarakhand, home to one of India’s most sought after Tiger Reserves, Mr. Jai Raj, the principal chief conservator of Forests (or, also known as PCCF) made the following clear to the media in connection with the (alleged) financial wrongdoings related to the Rajaji Tiger Reserve:
I have ordered the constitution of a four-member probe committee in this regard which will submit its report within two months”, he said.
In a country where there’s perhaps no day where one does not hear about news pertaining to corruption, whether in the governmental or bureaucratic circles, responsible for administering and overseeing the way the country functions, surely this isn’t the best piece of news.
Here’s what one of the revered print dailies of India- the Hindustan Times- had to say on the said matter:
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 report in the matter was submitted in March 2019 which stated that there were financial irregularities in the range, especially with regard to approving receipts without scrutiny, removal of Lantana grass, food receipts of patrolling staff and so on.
A picturesque, grand tiger reserve, among the most visited every now and again, the Rajaji Tiger Rerserve is spread over an area of 820 sq km and comes under no less than three districts of Uttarakhand.
These include- Haridwar, Dehradun, as well as Pauri Garhwal.
But, in addition to the above, HT also reported on the composition of the body that shall eventually probe the alleged matter and therefore, it’s important to note the following:
The four-member probe committee constituted by PCCF includes additional PCCF (administration), chief conservator of forests (personnel), financial controller state forest department and honorary warden RTR.
Importantly, according to confirmed reports, the entire Rajaji landscape has no fewer than 52 tigers.
Let’s hope that a fitting conclusion is reached and that the perpetrators, if any, in the matter, are brought to justice. Time now to remove taint – of any kind- from all institutions that have a bearing on, over India. What do you think?