Thursday, March, 23,2023

Pen is indeed mightier than the sword, especially when it’s wielded by a ‘jilted’ officer!

Jaipur: Even if a junior-level personnel or officer in the State Government makes up his or her mind to do something, then the powers vested in them, can make or break anything. One such example has now been observed in Jaisalmer. Every year, in the first week of February, the Desert Festival is organised. In the four-day festival, one programme is conducted on the Sam Sand Dunes, which is the main attraction of the entire festival.

This year, the festival was organised from February 2 to February 5, however, the main programme, at Sam Sand dunes, could not be conducted and both domestic and foreign tourists were bereft of the fervour. The reason for this was the ‘pen’ of the DFO.

Last month, this officer brought a court stay on his transfer orders. Miffed at the entire issue, the officer wrote a letter to the district administration saying, “Sam Sand Dunes fall in forest area and under my territorial jurisdiction, hence an activity with much fanfare can not be conducted here.” When Collector Tina Dabi referred the matter to senior Forest Department officials in Jaipur, she received permission for the festival, however, later some environmentalists approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) citing DFO’s letter.

The NGT issued a notice to the Collector and asked the Collector to appear on February 3. Then Collector Tina Dabi conducted a VC and presented her argument before the NGT saying, “The Desert Festival is being organised at Sam Sand dunes for the past 47 years, wherein, a cultural evening is organised. No damage is caused to forest and environment through this. Thus, there is no reason for this objection. As such the venue of the cultural evening has been changed.”

Since the matter was time-barred, it became infructuous for the NGT. What may happen in the future is not known, but at least this year, an officer surely brought a major international event to a halt.

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