Wednesday March 22, 2023

Irregularities detected in Billion Tree Tsunami project

July 09, 2020

PESHAWAR: Serious irregularities were detected in departmental inquiry of Billion Tree Tsunami project.

Sixty six inquiries were initiated against 94 officials, 47 inquiries decided and 19 are still under process.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan while talking to The News said the government would not allow any kind of corruption in any department because the PTI believes in corruption-free society.

According to document available with this correspondent, forest department initiated inquiries against two sub divisional forest officers, five deputy Rangers, one Ranger forest officer, 15 foresters and 46 forest guards in Billion Tree Tsunami project.

In another case, de novo inquiry was authorised against one chief conservator belonging to BPS-19, two DFOs of BPS-18, three SDFOs of BPS-17, two foresters of BPS-9 and 10 forest guards of BPS-7 for re-verification of plantation areas.

The chief minister said the heads of all government departments have been directed to strictly enforce the system of accountability within their departments because the people have voted the PTI for change in the society.

The chief minister reiterated his commitment that no one will be allowed to plunder the resources of the country at any cost.

Another inquiry was completed against forest guard Iftikharuddin of the same division and punished with the stoppage of two annual increments and a recovery of Rs 79,3500. Official has approached service tribunal and case is still under process.

Similarly, officials Bakhtiyar Ali, Muhammad Irshad, Juraid Khan, Akbar Hussain, Ali Rehman and Quaid-e-Azam were penalised by stopping their increments on different charges. Some of the officials were served with a warning letter and further maintenance at their own expenses.

Safirullah deputy Ranger was found guilty on failure of plantation in DIK areas and a recovery of Rs7057204 was authorised against him. Official has challenged the decision in Service Tribunal and retired from service.

Forester Akbar Niaz was also charged on similar grounds and Rs289667 were recovered from him. Inquiries against forest guards Ismail, Sher Alam and Yousaf Khan were completed and recovery of an amount of Rs3761125, 3041058 and 255021 were authorised by the committee. Ismail and Sher Alam were compulsorily retired from the government service but they have filed an appeal in Peshawar Service Tribunal.

It is pertinent to mention that this scribe pointed out irregularities and embezzlement in BTTP in February 2018 but the PTI government strongly rejected the allegation and emphasised that the project is transparent.

A defamation suit against this correspondent was also dismissed by the local court. Audit reports also proved irregularities in the project. The NAB had also detected a loss of over Rs462 million to the public exchequer in an initial inquiry into PTI’s flagship project.

The NAB regional office has recommended to the headquarters for upgrading the inquiry into investigation along with authorisation for four separate investigations and six inquiries to unearth the mega scam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.