Telecom giant Vodafone has been found to have violated the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 by carrying out digging work inside the Ratapani Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

“The matter has come to my notice, and I believe some digging has taken place inside the protected forest area. I have asked the Conservator Forest to look into the matter,” said Raisen district Chief Conservator of Forest, A.K.Bhattachaya.

The company had been carrying out the digging in the protected forest area, reportedly without the knowledge of forest officials. The matter was brought out by local residents after which the forest department swung into action.

“The company had permission for digging till a certain area and permission for more area was pending with the department,” said Conservator of Forest S. P. Sharma.“However, it proceeded digging in the protected area before permission was granted.”

“Yes, Vodafone did conduct digging outside the permitted area, but it seems not intentionally,” said another forest official concerned on the condition of anonymity.

“They might be found in serious violation of some forest laws but we are probably just going to fine them, as this happened by mistake,” he added.