Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Builder M3M India, forest officials booked for felling over 2,000 trees

When the incident came to the fore, the forest department ordered an enquiry, whose revelations left them red-faced



GURUGRAM: M3M India private limited, a renowned construction company, was booked for axing over 2,200 trees near Chauma village, with assistance from three forest officials According to the police, M3M builders had permission to cut only 20 trees but they went ahead and cut 2,243 trees till the first week of February.

When the incident came to the fore, the forest department ordered an enquiry, whose revelations left them red-faced. It was found out that the builder was aided by three forest officials identified as forest guard Praveen Kumar, forester Khajan Singh and range forest officer Amardeep. All three forest officials were suspended and a complaint was lodged against them at Palam Vihar police station on Saturday.

In the complaint, it was mentioned that forest guard Praveen Kumar took a bribe of Rs 3.5 lakh and in return allowed the construction company unchecked trespassing into the area to cut trees. Kumar also allegedly hid entry register to do away with all the proofs that could have exposed the scam.

The other two supervising officers were found guilty of inaction, despite having full knowledge of the scam.

An FIR has been registered against Karmbir Singh of M3M India, forest guard Praveen Kumar, Forester Khajan Singh and range forest officer Amardeep under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (hiding evidences) of IPC, sections 7, 12, 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 19 of Punjab Land Preservation Act 1900 at the Palam Vihar police station.

“No corruption will be tolerated in the forest department. We shall assist the police in the best possible way. Those guilty will be punished,” R R Jowel, additional chief secretary of forest department said.

Despite repeated attempts, M3M could not be contacted for their comments. TOI will publish their response when it is received.