ADILABAD: A tussle between the officials of the forest department and Nirmal district collector Musharaff Farooqui Ali that had been simmering for the past month took an ugly turn with the sealing of the Kadam forest range officer's office by panchayat raj authorities.
District Panchayat officials, under the direction of DPO Srilatha, seized the FRO’s office on Wednesday for failing to pay the Kadam gram panchayat's outstanding property tax debt of Rs 1.33 lakh over the previous 12 years despite being served with notices to do so.
Forest officials staged a protest over the sealing of FRO office demanding the immediate handing over of the office to the forest department and assured to clear the dues if the government-sanctioned the funds.
Trouble began when the forest officials refused permission for the construction of Kreeda Pranganalu, Smashana Vatikalu and Haritha Vanalu in 34 villages of Kadam and Pembi mandals in Nirmal district.
The state forest officials expressed their inability to give approval for the construction of the three projects in the Kawal Tiger Reserve area. They instead asked the officials concerned to take up the matter before the Green Tribunal court.
Incidentally, Koneru Krishna Rao, the brother of Sirupur Kagaznagar MLA Koneru Konappa, assaulted Ch Anitha, the range officer, on June 30, 2019.
Anitha was trying to prevent the unauthorised occupation of forest land in Sarasala village, Kumrum Bheem Asifabad district.
Additionally, it is rumoured that the district collector was unhappy with the forest department employees for not providing him with a four-wheel drive jeep on his recent visit to the Kadam mandal, which is what led to the punitive action of sealing the forest reserver officer’s office.