Sunday, September 23, 2007

Merchiston Estate Land Deal- Chief Conservator Vallil Gopinath Being Made Scapegoat

Chief Conservator of forests(Vigilance) Mr. Vallil Gopinath has the reputation of being a live wire officer, a go-getter. He does not stand any nonsense. In a department where officers, who choose to crawl when asked to bend are dime a dozen, he is an exception. He has always been outspoken. This has earned him the wrath of a small section officers within the department and some wily politicians.

Now the men who have always been trying to implicate him have found a convenient excuse to nail him. Under the guise of fixing responsibility for the Merchiston Estate Land deal, he has been made a scapegoat and suspended from service. You will be at a loss to understand the rationale behind his suspension if you peruse the records. If there is any thing wrong in the land deal the Custodian who is also Chief Conservator of Forests (Administration) should have taken necessary action and appraised the Government about the fact. The fact that the department of space is purchasing land from Merchiston Tea Estate has also been reported to Govt. vide their letter No.VSSC-DIR-2007 dated 22.05.2007 addressed to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala. The Divisional Forest Officer, Thiruvananthapuram and the Conservator of Forests (Southern Circle) had not reported any illegality in the transfer of above land to Mr Gopinath. The Government Order, which stipulates the duties and functions of the vigilance wing, do not contemplate an enquiry by the Vigilance Wing in land deals. He cannot act unless there is a specific complaint or petition. It was the responsibility of the concerned Forest Range Officer, DFO and Chief Conservator of Forests to act as stipulated in the forest code. The coordination responsibility of protection matters is with the Chief Conservator of Forests (Protection). So it is crystal clear that Chief Conservator (Vigilance) cannot be faulted. Then why is he being framed? Your guess is as good as mine.

8 comments:

Harish said...

Good to see this Mohan.Mr Gopinath is perhaps the only officer in the higher echelons of the department who is a good outdoors man.As CCF wildlife he was an outstanding success.Targeting good officers is phenomenon you can see all over India and it is not restricted to forest department

Prasanth Kodai said...

This is sad. I have met Mr Gopinath in a conference few years back. He appeared very dedicated to me

R.Ratheesh said...

The CPI which is balking at the inquiry has obviously something to hide.VS who always talk about probity in government affairs should order a comprehensive inquiry instead of passing the buck to the officers. This is bound to affect the morale of the officers.

V.Harindran said...

Targeting good officers has always been a dirty game played by the venal politicos

Davis said...

It is sad that a bright officer who does not kowtow to politicians is being penalized. This sure will bring down the morale of the department

Joseph Mathew said...

Well,well,well This is the normal ruse used by spineless Governments. Pass the buck to the officers and in the process victimse with this opportunity the officers who does not toe the Government line. Two birds with one shot. Really despicable

Renjith Babu said...

While the high and mighty gets away with the spoils the officials become the scapegoat. What a travesty

Pat said...

If Kerala is truely God's own country; I pray to GOD 'Forgive my State (youy Country); for the people we elected have lost reason and don't know what they are doing'.
Officer's come and go across India; but to get a Mr. Gopinath is one of a kind. He shares the billet of the few truely committed forest officers and that i guess is why the unreasonable and vested interest politicians target such officers.
I can only urge the people to realise that this is not healthy politics; but only self-interested gimmick. Dont let good people to be scandalised; stand up for them when they need us most.
I have had the fortune to attend functions wherein Mr. Gopinath was involved and had several interactions with him and so knowing him cant and will not tolerate such scandalous imputations brought against an officer of his repute.
Stand up!!!; and as people who elect the Government; affirm - "Dont make scapegoats of Good Officers to safeguard faliures in political machinery."