Two forest officers were suspended following a surprise visit by Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain, for their alleged failure to protect forest land from “large-scale encroachment” in the southern ridge forest adjoining Chattarpur Enclave Part-2.
Hussain directed the principal chief conservator of forests to seek an explanation from the officers concerned, who failed to detect and prevent such large-scale encroachment of forest and ridge land, and initiate departmental action against the guilty.
According to a statement issued by the Delhi government, a large chunk of ridge and forest land was found under encroachment and illegal occupation by private persons. Some recently built structures on the forest land were also noticed by the minister.
Hussain said he received complaints regarding encroachment of forest and ridge land, following which the inspection was carried out. He ordered that an FIR be lodged by the Forest Department against all encroachers and trespassers.
The principal chief conservator of forests was also directed to ensure that the land, which was vacated from encroachment at the time of inspection, is immediately fenced so that it is not encroached upon again. Meanwhile, the forest and revenue departments are in the process of demarcating forest and ridge land.
According to the statement issued by the government, similar surprise inspections will be carried out in other forest areas to check proper conservation and protection of forest land.