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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

J&K Govt website shows Bali Bhagat as Forest Minister, Suresh Kumar as Director FPF

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


JAMMU, Dec 6: Jammu and Kashmir Government’s nonchalance and non-seriousness towards the all-important Forest sector could be gauged, inter alia, by the official websites of its departments which have not been updated even once during 8-month-long regime of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Incredibly, the official website of the Jammu and Kashmir Forest Protection Force (FPF) declares BJP leader Bali Bhagat as Minister of Forest and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Suresh Kumar Gupta as Director of FPF.

As a matter of fact, Mr Bali Bhagat is Minister of Health and Medical Education in Mehbooba Mufti’s government since April 5, 2016, when Chief Minister allocated portfolios to her Cabinet Minister a day after taking oath on April 4, 2016. Since that day, BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh is Minister of Forest, Environment and Ecology.

It appears that FPF’s website has never been updated in the current year. In Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government from March 1, 2015 to January 7, 2016, Bali Bhagat was Minister of Forest and Lal Singh was Minister of Health and Medical Education.

On August 12, 2016, Mehbooba Mufti’s government appointed Suresh Kumar Gupta (IFS-1991) as Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir State Forest Corporation (SFC) while as Dr. R.K. Tiwari (IFS-1993) was appointed as Director FPF. Both the officers took over their new assignments within days of the reshuffle in August.

Adhocism and non-seriousness in FPF can also be imagined from the fact that a junior officer of State Forest Service, who is still not confirmed as Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) and has worked as “incharge DCF” for some time, has been appointed as Joint Director of FPF in Kashmir Division.

According to the law and rules, JD of FPF is equivalent in rank to Conservator of Forest (CF) in Forest Department.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

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