Home Dehradun Govt restricts administrative authority of PCCF Rajiv Bhartari

Govt restricts administrative authority of PCCF Rajiv Bhartari

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 6 Apr: In what can be termed as defiance of the Uttarakhand High Court’s decision, the Uttarakhand Government today issued orders restricting the administrative powers of PCCF and Head of the Forest Department Rajiv Bhartari. It may be recalled that Bhartari, who had been removed as PCCF by the government over some alleged irregularities in construction work in Corbett National Park, was reinstated as PCCF by the Uttarakhand High Court. Bhartari had, in compliance with the High Court orders, taken charge as PCCF and Head of the Forest Department on Tuesday.  Yesterday, he had issued transfer orders of some senior IFS officers.

Taking serious note of the development, the government today issued a series of orders related to the Forest Department. Through one such order, the government also restricted the administrative powers of Bhartari and, today, cancelled the transfer orders issued yesterday under the signature of Bhartari. The government claims that transferring IFS cadre officers is a prerogative of the government. The government order issued in this respect also claims that, in view of the charges related to the irregularities in Corbett National Park being faced by Rajiv Bhartari, he is restrained from accessing the files related to the allegations faced by him and to take any decision in this regard. The order further claims that the High Court’s decision to reinstate Bhartari as PCCF does not restrain the government from taking such a decision. The order further directs Bhartari to take prior permission of the government before issuing transfer orders in the department.

Through another order issued today, the government also relieved senior IFS officer Manoj Chandran as Chief Conservator, HRD and Personnel. This is being seen as a setback for Chandran, who is one of the contenders for the post of PCCF once Bhartari and Vinod Singhal retire on 30 April. Chandran will however continue to hold charge as Chief Conservator, Monitoring and IT, within the Forest Department.

Chandran has been replaced by senior IFS officer Nishant Verma, who has been given charge of the HRD and Personnel sections of the Forest Department as an additional responsibility. Verma has also been directed to take charge and report this to the government.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that Bhartari today called on the Chief Minister and discussed the latest developments. It remains to be seen where this fight between the PCCF and the Government leads to.