Dead leopard haunts forest dept
As reported by Vijay Pinjarkar of TNN on timesofindia.com on 3 March 2008:
Dead leopard haunts forest dept-Nagpur-Cities-The Times of India
Dead leopard haunts forest dept
NAGPUR: The sad tale of the leopard which died in a well after being tranquillised by the staff of Nagpur Forest Division at Khapri-Thana (Fukeshwar) near Nagpur on May 26, 2007, has once again come to haunt the department after 10 months.
Chandrakant Rambhau Chimote, a resident of Nandanvan Layout, who had sought information under the Right To Information (RTI) Act 2005, has charged the concerned officials with concealing information on the medicine that was used by the department to tranquillise the leopard which died after falling into a well at Fukeshwar.
Chimote had sought information from the deputy conservator of forests (Dy CF), Nagpur Forest Division on November 2, 2007, about the medicine used to tranquillise wild animals between January 1, 2002 and October 30, 2007.
He had also sought details about the date of purchase; quantity, batch number, date of expiry, quantity used, balance medicine and whether any animal had died after being tranquillised or not.
On December 3, 2007, the range forest officer (RFO), Seminary Hills, from where Ketamil and Xylazil (the medicines used for tranquillising the leopard) were issued, only supplied information to Chimote about medicines procured in September/October 2007. Interestingly, as demanded, information between 2002 and 2006 was not provided.
Interestingly when Chimote approached information officer ACF L V Swami to get the details of medicines for the remaining four years (2002-2006) he was told on December 4, 2007 to get the information from RFO, Seminary Hills.
The officer said the information was not available with him as the records were misplaced following renovation of division office at Civil Lines. Surprisingly, another letter issued by Swami on December 4, 2007 itself says that he was yet to receive information from the respective department.
"This was nothing but buck passing. The department wants to conceal information," Chimote says. Upset and unsatisfied by half-hearted information provided by the officials, he appealed to deputy conservator Dr Dileep Gujar on December 11, 2007.
Shockingly, Chimote says, the information supplied by Dr Gujar on January 14, 2008, says that details of Ketamil, Xylazil and Anlagazil purchased on April 27, 2004 were not available with his office.
Interestingly, Dr Gujar supplied details of similar drugs procured in 2002 whose expiry date was 2004.
The applicant suspects that the medicine procured in 2004 was used to tranquillise the leopard. Also, there is no mention of the leopard that was killed in May 2007 in the list of wild animals which were tranquillised from March 10, 2003 to September 14, 2007.
When contacted, Dr Gujar told TOI that all information that was in record was supplied to Chimote. However, there is no record of medicines bought in 2004 and hence it was not provided.
When asked why the killed leopard was not included in the list of tranquillised animals, Dr Gujar said, "I’ll have to check it. I don’t know, but I have tried to supply all the information which Chimote sought."
Meanwhile, Chimote has also moved the state information commissioner against the forest department for not providing information under RTI Act.