March 27, 2024
NAINITAL: Hearing a petition filed against the illegal constructions carried out in Morghatti and Pakhro areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), Uttarakhand high court (HC) on Thursday ordered chief secretary SS Sandhu and principal secretary (environment), Anand Bardhan, to take action against the offenders. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Sajjan Kumar Mishra and Justice Alok Kumar Verma also asked the officials to submit an action taken report in the court by February 14, when the case will next be heard.
Separate investigations by teams of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change have already confirmed that constructions were carried out in Morghatti and Pakhro areas of Kalagarh in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and Indian Forest Act, 1972.
The state government had in November last year ordered transfers of 30 Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers — including senior officials like the head of forest force and chief wildlife warden. Many of the transfers were said to have been done over the alleged illegalities in CTR.
Reacting to the transfers, the bench on Thursday asked the state on what basis were the transfers done.
Earlier in the day, the HC had clubbed a petition filed by Dehradun-resident Anu Pant and the one that was filed after the HC took suo motu cognisance of a TOI report (published on October 23, 2021) that detailed how the…

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