Coimbatore

Forest Dept. gears up for transfers following HC direction

The Forest Department is gearing up for transfers of officials who have been working in the same station for more than three years, following the recent direction of the Madras High Court. 

Sources with the department said a four-member committee, constituted by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force), was handling the transfers of Tamil Nadu Forest subordinate service and Tamil Nadu Ministerial service.

The PCCF had recently informed the Special Government Pleader of Madras High Court that details of all the staff working for more than three years in a station, had been collected and the transfers would be done on the recommendations of the committee in a transparent manner by May 31. He had also informed that transfer of staff working in the same station for over three years was done during the general transfer period from April 1 to May 31, every year.

Some forest range officers with whom  The Hindu spoke to said the transfers should be done in a transparent manner and that a three-year duration for transfers should apply equally to all the staff and officers. They added that it was not clear whether ‘station’, mentioned in the official communications meant a forest range or a forest division or a forest circle.

K. Sivaprakasam, president of Tamil Nadu Forest Staff Association, alleged that officials at the top of the administration had not been following norms regarding the transfers. If transfer norms were followed by the top officials, there was no need for the High Court to intervene and the PCCF to form the committee, he said.

“As per norms, a forester should not work in the same forest division for more than three years, and a ranger in the same forest circle for more than six years. This has not been followed anywhere in Tamil Nadu. Such norms were not followed in the postings of IFS officers too. For instance, an official who joined as Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF - trainee), was posted as the DFO, Conservator, Chief Conservator and Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, in the same circle consecutively,” he alleged. Another officer, who joined the force as forester, and now an ACF, has been working in the same forest division for nearly 20 years, he added.

Top officials from the department did not comment on the issue.


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Printable version | Jun 3, 2022 12:50:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/forest-dept-gears-up-for-transfers-following-hc-direction/article65407994.ece