Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mulayam`s lion safari hangs in balance


Mulayam`s lion safari hangs in balance


Lucknow, May 31: With the change of guard in the state, fate of the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's dream 'lion safari' project at his home district Eatwah hangs in balance.


The high profile project has been taken off the priority list of the present dispensation and no monetary provision is likely to be made for it in the budget for the current financial year, Principal Secretary, Forest, V N Garg said here today.


"It is not a high priority area for the government," he said.


Garg said that the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) had sanctioned the project subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, which are yet to be met.


When asked about the budgetary allocation made during the previous regime for the project, he said that Rs 1.51 crore was allocated but it had been transferred to the PLA as it remained unutilised.


The project was envisaged on a huge tract of land in the fisher forest area of Etawah district and the land had also been identified for the purpose.


The conditions specified by the CZA included setting up a lion breeding centre, forest department sources said here.


The department had been encountering problems in securing lions for the breeding centre though efforts were made to get them from the Gir forests in Gujarat, forest officials said.

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