Saturday, November 17, 2007

LION RELOCATION ISSUE IN SUPREME COURT

14-11-2007

LION RELOCATION ISSUE IN SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court today heard at length the issue of relocation of Lions from Gujarat to its proposed second home at Kuno Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. This was in response to a petition filed by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India (BCTI) through its trustee Faiyaz Khudsar and represented by Advocate Raj Panjwani and Ritwick Dutta.

Arguing before the Bench headed by Chief Justice, Raj Panjwani informed the Court, that the issue is of prime importance given the fact that the entire wild population of the species in at one location and a single epidemic could wipe out the whole species. Further, detail studies were conducted on the feasibility of the area and over 24 villages have been relocated successfully from the Kuno Sanctuary. Thus as per the Report of the Wildlife Institute of India, the area can take in the first batch of Lions to begin with from 2008. The second phase of the project should have been over which includes translocation and unfortunately due to the objections of the state of Gujarat to transfer of the lions, the historic project has been almost stalled. It was further, pointed out that over 15 crores have been spent on the project and it will all go waste if the Lions are not translocated. The Chief Justice sought clarification as the number of lions which are required as well as the prey base for the same.   The court was informed as per studies, there are enough prey base for the first lot of lions and in addition to natural preys, there are also feral cattle which will serve as a buffer prey for the lions.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has filed an affidavit wherein it stated that the Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India has written to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. However, the Forest Minister of the Government of Gujarat declined to part with any of the lions.

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Government of Gujarat on the issue and has posted it for further hearing on the 30th of November, 2007

Source: Priyabrata Satapathy, Member, Legal Initiative for Forest & Environment (LIFE)

C- 86, Lower Ground Floor, East of Kailash, New Delhi-65, Tele fax- 011- 46570551, 46570552, email- lifedelhi@gmail.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update.
Any further updates like a direction to the Gujarat government by the SUpreme Court? That would be good news.

Relocation Sugar Land said...

great update!
ive been looking for information on this for a while now!

Cheers,
Shanti

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