GUWAHATI, Oct 26 - RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury has alleged that he has been denied information by the Forest department on the status of implementation of the April 10, 2016 order of the Gauhati High Court in PIL case no. 6/2008 on the issue of reposting of the 233 watch and ward staff of the Forest department, who were initially posted at the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and other wildlife areas and ,subsequently, transferred to other places.
He also requested for information on the enquiry report, which the High Court had asked the Upa Lokayukta to file, on the allegation of misappropriation of the funds meant for the construction of the Rajamari anti-poaching bridge.
The Gauhati High Court had directed the Forest department to repost those watch and ward staff at the KNP and other wildlife areas where they were initially deployed. The High Court in its order directed that these staff should be reposted at the KNP and other wildlife areas of their initial posting within 30 days from the receipt of its above order.
The High Court also directed the Upa Lokayukta to enquire into the allegation of misappropriation of funds in the construction of the Rajamari anti-poaching bridge, for which Rs 20 lakh was sanctioned. It was alleged by the petitioner that construction work of the bridge was substandard and the amount released for the purpose was not spent properly.
The court also directed the government to release annually-allotted funds on a quarterly basis for the maintenance of the KNP and other wildlife areas.
While disposing the above petition, the court further directed the government to post IFS officers, who have adequate training in wildlife management in the Forest and Wildlife department as deputy secretary, additional chief secretary and joint secretary.
Choudhury requested the Forest department to provide the list of the 233 watch and ward staff mentioned in the said order of the High Court along with the information concerning their present place of posting and duration of posting.
He also requested for a copy of the report of the Upa Lokayukta on the enquiry conducted on the allegation of misappropriation of the funds meant for the construction of the Rajamari anti-poaching bridge.
Choudhury further had requested detailed information concerning the funds released by the State government for the KNP since April 1, 2016 till January 3, 2017, when he filed the RTI application.
But the Forest department has not supplied the above information to Choudhury, which compelled him to approach the State Information Commission on September 13, 2017, Choudhury said.