Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-06-02 20:10 Bengaluru: In a sudden move, the state government has transferred Conservator of Forest and Director of Bandipur tiger reserve BB Mallesh citing dereliction of duty. In an order dated June 1, 2006 and signed by the under-secretary, Department of Public Administration and Reforms (DPAR), the government has said that Mallesh has been transferred without any posting. The order states that Mallesh had failed to prevent the forest fire which occurred in March besides reducing the number of forest watchers in the tiger reserve. He had also failed to bring to the notice of higher officials in the department about the lack of fire watchers. Interestingly, the department has appointed T Heeralal, Conservator of Forests, Working Plan, Shivamogga, to the vacant post with immediate effect. Though the order accuses the officer of dereliction of duty, there has been no departmental inquiry against Mallesh nor was any report submitted indicting him for the fire mishap. The officer was not even asked for an explanation. The transfer has raised doubts regarding the intention of the government considering that there had been very little damage due to the fire, with about 150 acres having been burnt. In May 2015, over 1000 acres of forest was burnt but no action was taken. Even during this year, there have been several serious fire mishaps in other tiger reserves such as Nagarhole and Kali reservoir, but there has been no such action. This is considered to be a first incident where an officer has been transferred for a forest fire. As per the rules, Bandipur being a tiger reserve should remain inviolate and any officer serving here should not be transferred unless he or she completes a two-year term, so that the conservation effort will not be affected. Moreover, the present conservator is due for retirement in April 2017. Mallesh, who came to Bandipur earlier this year, has been in news for several reasons, with reports of his transfer doing the rounds constantly. He had suffered a similar fate earlier as he was transferred while serving as conservator of Anshi-Dandeli tiger reserve (now Kali tiger reserve).