Madhya Pradesh: Revenue, Forest Departments Clash Over Opium Factory Land In Jawad

Madhya Pradesh: Revenue, Forest Departments Clash Over Opium Factory Land In Jawad

Accusations flew as the forest department alleged that the revenue department negligently acquired the allotment from the collector without proper verification. Despite their objections in May, construction proceeded, leading to the forest department seizing construction materials and filing a case against the project manager, Dheeraj Sharma.

Kapil Singh ChouhanUpdated: Friday, June 14, 2024, 12:44 AM IST
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Jawad (Madhya Pradesh): A heated dispute erupted between the Neemuch revenue department and the forest department over the land allotted for an opium factory, bringing operations to a halt and sparking protests.

The controversy began when the district collector Dinesh Chandra Jain allotted revenue department land to a private company, Sunlight Alkaloid Pvt Ltd, for extracting alkaloid from opium under a public-private partnership (PPP) mode. As construction commenced, forest department employees intervened, claiming the land belonged to their department, and halted the work.

Accusations flew as the forest department alleged that the revenue department negligently acquired the allotment from the collector without proper verification. Despite their objections in May, construction proceeded, leading to the forest department seizing construction materials and filing a case against the project manager, Dheeraj Sharma.

Jawad SDM reported that the land indeed belonged to the revenue department, contradicting the forest department's claims. The situation escalated when ranger Vipul Prabhat Karoria of Jawad forest range was suspended by Ujjain commissioner Sanjay Gupta for allegedly seizing company property and misconduct.

In response, the MP Forest Employees Union, led by provincial president Nirmal Kumar Tiwari, protested the suspension, accusing the revenue department of demoralising forest workers and illegally encroaching on forest land. They demanded the reinstatement of ranger Karoria, submitting a memorandum to the collector.

Jawad SDM Rajesh Shah clarified that the land transfer followed legal procedures and noted that the forest department did not object during the initial hearings. DFO SK Atode added that the land was declared a reserved forest in 1985 after proper verification.

The conflict remains unresolved, with both departments standing firm on their claims, leaving the future of the opium factory in limbo.

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