<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD>For the past nine months, Gunraj Singh, a former wildlife warden of Hoshiarpur district, has been trying to get information about plantations by the forest department in Hoshiarpur’s Kandi belt under a Rs 650-crore Japanese-aided project. But in vain.

He also wanted the muster roll register of the labourers who had worked on the project and the cash books from 2001-02 to 2005-06. After repeated appeals to the sic, the office of divisional forest officer (DFO ) asked him to deposit Rs 23,980 as stationery costs for the 12,000-odd documents. He handed over the draft for the required amount but insisted that the veracity of the documents should be checked. When the documents were checked, after orders from the Commission, it was found the DFO had withheld crucial portions.

Armed with this information, Gunraj moved the Commission for suitable penalty to be imposed against the DFO . For the past three months, there is no news from either the DFO or the SIC. Says Gunraj, "I’ve exposed the bungling by the forest department in plantation drives for several years and I could see funds had been misused. I used the RTI to get to the bottom of things but it hasn’t worked."

It's Still A Wild Card : outlookindia.com

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