The officers involved in the change made in the original alignment of Kiratpur-Nerchowk Four-lane may face consequences. After getting the changes made in the alignment checked, its confidential report has been sent by the Divisional Commissioner Mandi to the Principal Secretary Revenue on April 4.
The original alignment of the above project was substantially changed by the National Highways Authority of India without the approval of the Central Government.
The Ministry of Environment was continuously listening to the complaint letter of the Four-lane Displaced and Affected Committee, seeking a report from the State Government, but the State Government was not giving any cooperation to the Ministry, on which the Ministry closed the project worth Rs 1,818 crore in 2020 with immediate effect.
After this, Project Director Mandi urged the Deputy Commissioners of Bilaspur and Mandi to investigate the change. In just two weeks, the committees headed by both the Deputy Commissioners sent their reports to the government.
It was said in this report that there has been no change anywhere except in seven places. Based on these reports, the Ministry had conditionally given permission to work first in the brown field and then in the green field.
The ministry had sought an action taken report on the report of inspection of trees and officials who were negligent on arbitrary changes in the alignment of the project as per the conditions of the Ministry of Environment.
After this, the Highway Authority gave a fine of about two crores to the Forest Department to fulfill a condition. Chief Forester Bilaspur had constituted a two-member committee and sought a report from the DFO headquarters.
Madan Lal Sharma, general secretary of Four-lane Displaced and Affected Committee, said that even after eight months, the committee approached the High Court, which was assured of action against the guilty officials within two months.
Chief Forester Bilaspur, involving a total of 13 officers of the Forest Department and two officers of the Highway Authority, apprised the Principal Secretary Forest that the officers of the Revenue Department are also involved in this irregularity.
On this the Principal Secretary Forest wrote to the Principal Secretary Revenue to take appropriate action. Principal Secretary Revenue had demanded an inquiry from the Divisional Commissioner, Mandi, on which this action has been taken.
Divisional Commissioner Mandi Rakhil Kahlon has written in letter number COMMR-MND-NHAI-Enquiry (Report)-2092 that the report has been sent to the Principal Secretary Revenue, Government of Himachal Pradesh. It is written on the letter that this report is confidential.