Jharkhand Lokayukta Amreshwar Sahay on Tuesday recommended immediate suspension of five forest officials for spending more than Rs 5.88 crore in “bogus” tree plantation programmes in areas across Sahebganj subdivision in 2010-11.
The retired judge of Jharkhand High Court further also said that FIRs should be lodged in local police station and departmental proceedings initiated against the two divisional forest officers, two range officers and one forester so that such incidents did not recur in future.
The five are conservator of forests, Deoghar, J.P.N. Sinha; divisional forest officer, Sahebganj, Sushil Soren; range officer, Kathikund, Sushil Kumar Prasad; range officer, Barhait, John Kerketta and forester, Barhait, Suresh Ravidar.
“In most cases, trees were not planted at all. The accused furnished bogus expenditure. Investigations further revealed that a majority of places mentioned were private farm and homestead land, which fall outside the scope of plantation programmes. The exercise, if at all done, was carried out in places which do not support vegetation,” Deepak Kumar, the secretary to Lokayukta, said.
“Orders have been issued to the forest department to file action-taken report within three months,” he added.