Srinagar: A day after Hyderabad-based major infrastructure company, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited which is responsible for the construction of the 14.5-kilometre Zojila Tunnel, chopped down over 300 ‘trees’ without seeking permission from Forest Department, the Department attached Forest Officer Sonmarg to DFO’s office Ganderbal for not informing the higher-ups.

Quoting sources, news agency KNT reported that the Forest Officer Sonmarg, Abdul Gani was attached to the office of Divisional Forest Officer Ganderbal while the additional charge was given to Forest Officer Gund Habibullah.

Earlier on January 21, the company had chopped off 338 trees without seeking permission from the Forest Department.

Official sources said that attachment order was issued after Department felt that the said officer “resorted to dilly dally tactics” in sending the report to higher-ups.

Meanwhile, the DFO has already constituted a committee comprising of Range Officer Sindh Forest Range and Assistant Director Forest Protection Force to ascertain the facts. They have been asked to submit the report within 3 days.

Pertinently, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd got the contract to construct the Zojila Tunnel after it emerged as the lowest bidder for the project.

Zojila tunnel aims to provide all-year connectivity between Kashmir and Ladakh region. The estimated cost of the project is Rs4,509 crore.


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