No roar of support, but biz houses pitch in for King
Gandhinagar, May 23: Protection OF Asiatic Lion was made a public cause with the setting up of the Gir Lion Conservation Society here on Wednesday. Big business houses from the State promised to dole out support in cash and kind for the cause in the presence of Forest Minister Mangubhai Patel and top bureaucrats from the Forest Department. Principal Secretary in the CMO, K Kailasnathan, represented Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Though not as much as the government might have liked to, the industrialists promised futuristic help, with Reliance Group proposing to build parapet walls around 1,500 wells in and around the Gir sanctuary area.
Every year over a dozen lions die after falling in these open wells.
The Cadilla Group came forward with help towards maintaining a lion gene pool in cryogenic conditions to aid lion conservation and research. Excel Industries of Kutch also proposed to help in building well parapets and covers.
In all not more than a dozen industry houses were present for the meeting called by the Forest Department to launch the society.
The government is aiming to collect a corpus of Rs 40 crore for lion conservation through this society, membership for which would be open to general public.
While individual membership would come at a cost of Rs 5,000, institutions can become life members by paying Rs 1 lakh to the society.
While Chief Minister would chair the society, Conservator of Forests (Junagadh) would be the ex-officio member (secretary) of the society.