Things are not working well in Ranthambore tiger reserve. Two senior Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers are at loggerheads, 8 tiger-tigeress and cubs died while 12 tigers have reportedly gone missing from the reserve.
According to sources, chief conservator of forest (CCF) and field director of Ranthambore Tiger Project P Kathirvel has locked horns with deputy conservator of forest and deputy field director of Ranthambore Tiger Project Mohit Gupta.
The two officers are reportedly not working in tandem and their dispute is said to have taken its toll on the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.
In last one year, 8 tigers including 12 have lost their lives while 12 had gone missing.
The headquarter of Forest department in Jaipur – Aranya Bhawan – has been informed about the ‘tense working' condition at the park.
“We have sought factual report from then field. We will take action accordingly,” said Arindam Tomar, chief wildlife warden.
What is the dispute?
P Kathirvel, a 2004 batch IFS officer has been working at the park since June 2023. Mohit Gupta, a 2004 batch officer has been posted there since
Deputy field director Mohit Gupta alleged that the monitoring and tracking system at the tiger reserve has come to a standstill. The field director is not clearing 114 bill pending since April 2023.
Following that Mohit Gupta has not further forwarded bills worth Rs 70 lakhs which is affecting the routine work at the park. Gupta alleged that the system will collapse due to lack of resources if corrective action not taken immediately.
The CCF had withdrawn government vehicles of all rangers alleging misuse.
He had alleged that there is lot of discrepancies in the bill. Also, there is not even 2% progress in the state plan of deputy conservator of forest.
“When I tightened the noose, they are putting blame on me. I work as per rule. Whatever they are expected to do, they don't,” Kathirvel had alleged.
Management at park is suffering
As the duel between the two officers continues, the ultimate sufferers the habitant of this park – tigers for whom the reserve has been developed.
“The government should take immediate action. These two officers should not be allowed to work together. Whosoever is at wrong should be punished as safety of tigers from whom they have been deputed is at complete risk,” said D N Mathur, a conservationist.
Vivek Shukla is a management graduate who has worked in corporate worked for 20 years and is now pursuing his passion — news.