GUWAHATI- Assam’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force (HoFF) MK Yadav has been removed as Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) amidst allegations of misusing Tiger Conservation Fund (TCF) and fudging rhino census figures in Kaziranga National Park.
Sandeep Kumar, PCCF (Wildlife and Bio-diversity), has been given the charge of CWLW with immediate effect, while PCCF & Head of Forest Force, Mahendra Kumar Yadava, will hand over the charge to Sandeep Kumar.
An order issued by the Secretary of Environment and Forest Department, Assam, read, “In the interest of public service, Sri Sandeep Kumar, IFS (RR: 1989), Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife and Bio-diversity) cum Project Director, Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Society, shall henceforth hold the charge of Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) with immediate effect, until further orders.”
The order further read, “Sri Mahendra Kumar Yadava, IFS (RR:1989), Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Head of Forest Force, Assam, holding the additional charge of Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) shall hand over the charge to Sri Sandeep Kumar, IFS, immediately.”
The move comes after reports emerged that TCF funds were used for non-permissible works in KNP, including former President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the park.
The shocking details of the former president’s visit to the national park’s expenditure and its subsequent cost covered using the government’s funds have stirred controversy. According to a response to an RTI application filed by wildlife activist Rohit Choudhury, around Rs 1.1 crore was spent on former President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit in February last year.