Madhya Pradesh/ Probe ordered against former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan; accused of irregularities in planting 6 crore saplings

  • Forest Minister Umang Singhar wrote a letter to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW)
  • The world record was set by planting 6 crore saplings on the Narmada shore on 2 July 2017
  • Minister claims- A sapling worth Rs 20 was brought for more than Rs 200

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Umang Singhar has asked the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the state government to launch probe against former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, ex-forest minister Gauri Shanker Shejwar and over half a dozen senior forest officials for financial irregularities in the 2017 massive plantation drive.

Sources said that Singhar has asked the EOW to investigate the alleged misappropriation of public funds in the 2017 plantation drive.

“Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his forest minister, and half a dozen top forest officials took up the task of setting up the Guinness World Record on July 2, 2017 to benefit some individuals and crores of rupees were defrauded in the process,” Umang Singhar is learnt to have noted on the file that has been sent to the Economic Offences Wing.

In the file that has been submitted to the EOW, Singhar remarked that six crore trees were not planted in the first place as the number of pits dug to plant the trees were much less than the declared figures, sources said.

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Internal inquiry found that six crore tree were never planted in the first place: Singhar asked the EOW to examine the financial irregularities in the whole scam after an internal inquiry found that six crore tree were never planted in the first place and much lesser pits were dug and many of the trees that were actually planted did not survive.

The internal inquiry conducted by the forest department found that the decision to create the Guinness World Record was taken by the then chief minister’s office in 2017 under Shivraj Singh Chouhan. It was taken in such a hurry that government agencies, including the forest and horticulture departments, had no time to produce sapling in such huge numbers, a top source said.

The inquiry also revealed that saplings were ordered from private agencies including many from Gujarat and a sapling worth Rs 20 was brought for more than Rs 200.