BENGALURU: In an unusual development, Forest Minister R Shankar has stopped the transfer of a forest official posted in Bengaluru city which was ordered by none other than the chief minister himself. On October 5, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had signed the transfer orders of Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), Bengaluru Urban division, Ravindra Kumar. According to official sources, the Forest minister has directed top officials in the department not to issue movement orders for the official.
Sources said that some MLAs had urged the CM to transfer the officer who was instrumental in recovering 130 acres of forest land in Survey No. 37 at Sunkadakatte in Bengaluru South. A highly placed source said, “Ravindra Kumar’s movement order is yet to be issued as the minister has asked us not to issue it. There is lot of political pressure on the department to transfer this officer from his present posting. However, till the movement order is issued, he will continue to remain in Bengaluru.”
The source added that a plantation with a variety of native species had come up on the land in question. The recovery of the land reportedly affected some politicians and one of them wrote to the CM seeking the official’s transfer.
The ACF had recovered land in Doresanipalya reserve forest near Brigade Millenium apartments in JP Nagar and was in the process of recovering another 70 acres in Turahalli reserve forest and 45 acres in Anekal reserve forest.
Meanwhile, urging the state government to revoke the transfer of the officer, many activists and wildlife groups in Bengaluru said that reserve forests are the last lung spaces in a burgeoning city where at least 10% of urban tree cover has been destroyed over the last few years.