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DFO diverts lakhs from CAMPA funds to print calendars
2/27/2013 1:16:08 AM
Majid Ahmad
Srinagar, Feb 26: An officer of the rank of DFO has got printed calendars worth lakhs without any proper approval and the money for the purpose was diverted from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in total violation of codal formalities.
Sources told Early Times Plus that DFO Agrostology Rashid Naqash ordered printing of atleast 10 thousand calendars this year without taking any formal approval from the competent authority.
"While on papers the order was placed for the printing of 10 thousand calendars in reality only 2500-3000 calendars were printed. The total expenditure for the calendars has been shown approximately Rs 10 lakh," they claimed.
Sources said that the money for the purpose was diverted from CAMPA scheme. "The DFO violated all the codal formalities and without
issuing tenders allotted the work to some blue eyed firm. He (DFO) earned more than Rs five lakhs as kickbacks from the order," they alleged.
The main aim of the CAMPA scheme is to promote conservation, protection, regeneration and management of existing natural forests, conservation, protection, and management of Wildlife and its habitat and outside protected areas including the consolidation of the protected areas, compensatory forestation and environment services.
Last year Chief Secretary had taken a serious note of in the backdrop of reports of alleged bunglings in CAMPA funds and asked the Forest higher ups to spend the money judiciously in future. The Steering
Committee of the CAMPA which had met at Civil Secretariat here on July 31 last year had asked the Principal Chief Conservator Forests (PCCF)
to provide division wise information of works carried in previous yeas.
"What was the need to spend a huge amount on the printing of calendars and that too from the CAMPA money?" asked a senior official of the Department.
He said that the money was meant for afforestation purposes. "But the DFO in brazen violations of norms spent it on an activity which wasn't needed," he added.
Sources said that the budget of Agristology Wing was raised from Rs 35 lakhs to Rs 80 lakhs this year after Naqash took over. "The Joint Director Planning Forests Z A Banday raised the budget of the
Agrostology after Naqash took over. He (Banday) diverts funds from one division to another to benefit his own DFOs who in turn pay kickback to him," he alleged. "Banday has been working as JD Planning Forests for the last five years and is one of the main reasons for promoting corruption in the Department."

Naqash was earlier last year given additional charge of Project
Manager Water Shed Management in Lakes and Water Ways Development
Authority. "Despite works in Agrostolgy and LAWDA being of different nature, Naqash managed his posting in LAWDA through a senior bureaucrat in the Secretariat," sources said and added immediately
after taking over the charge in LAWDA he stopped the funds meant for allied departments of Forest like Wild Life, Social Forestry, Soil Conservation, Sindh Division and Urban Forestry Division.
A delegation of employees of the Forest department while appealing the Forest Minister Mian Altaf to look into these bunglings said, "It is high time that Mian sahib who is the most honest minister in Omar
Abdullah government takes these corrupt officers to task."
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