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MP govt under scanner from Accountant General over flouting green norms

Close to 100 development works carried out by the Madhya Pradesh ecotourism development Board (MPEDB) at a cost of over Rs 7 crore have come under the scrutiny of the Accountant General’s office for flouting green norms.

The AG office, which acts as Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) distant arm to scrutinise states’ work, has inspected various projects done by the MPEDB between 2005-06 and till December 2011.

According to its report, various ecotourism activities like construction of rest houses, homes, jungle camps, huts, approach roads, cycling activities and wilderness camps are among 99 works, either going on or completed, on which Rs 710.65 lakh (Rs 7.1 crore) has been spent.

The work includes construction and ecotourism activities in forest and national parks areas. The documents do not show that prior permission under Forest Conservation Act was obtained before starting these works, the report, which was accessed through RTI by activist Ajay Dubey, said. In its report, which was sent to the MPEDB, the AG office has taken note of various online portals through which bookings were made to rest houses in various forest areas under Indore, Hoshangabad, Dewas, Chindwara, Jhabua, Raisen and Chhattarpur districts for promotion of ecotourism.

Prior permission to start ecotourism activities in these areas were not taken from the Centre, the report said.
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