The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated an investigation into the construction of the Tiger Safari in Jim Corbett National Park. The CBI had previously sought documents related to the case through a vigilance inquiry, which have now been handed over to them. Confirmation of this development has been provided by Dr. V. Murugeshan, the Director of Vigilance.
In light of the directives from the Nainital High Court, the CBI is conducting an investigation into this matter. Prior to this, during the construction of the Pakhro Tiger Safari spread over 106 hectares in Corbett, more than six thousand trees were unlawfully felled, which had led to strict action by the Uttarakhand High Court. The High Court had questioned why the case was not investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
So far, investigations by eight agencies have revealed various irregularities in the construction of the Tiger Safari and other tourist facilities in Jim Corbett. Not only were more trees cut than permissible, but various constructions were also carried out without financial and administrative approvals. Structures were even built within the boundaries of the national park.
Contractors May Be Questioned
In this case, Dehradun resident Anu Pant had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court. The petitioner had informed the court that several reports regarding the unlawful felling of six thousand trees in Corbett were presented before the court. All these reports were thoroughly presented to the court by the petitioner’s lawyer, Abhijay Negi. In this matter, the CBI may question several officers, employees, and contractors working in the Range as it has come to light in various inquiries, including Vigilance and others, that work in the Corbett Tiger Safari commenced without any financial or other approvals.
The focal point of CBI’s investigation will also include former Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat, as it has emerged in previous inquiries that the construction of the Corbett Tiger Safari was initiated under his pressure, without obtaining financial and other approvals. Meanwhile, Dr. V. Murugeshan, the Director of Vigilance, has stated that the CBI has already been handed copies of the FIR. Any additional documents related to the ongoing CBI investigation will also be provided to them.