Friday, April 24, 2009
Gujarat opposes Centre’s plan to relocate lions to MP
Gujarat opposes Centre's plan to relocate lions to MP
Times of India
New Delhi: Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh may be ruled by BJP, but the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday raised serious objections in the Supreme Court to the Centre's ambitious proposal to relocate a few lions from the Gir forest to the MP jungles.
The plan, devised to save lions from a disaster that could wipe them all in one go since they are concentrated in one place, involved relocating five lions from Gir to a 300 sq km forest at Kunopalpur in Sheopur district of MP, amicus curiae Raj Panjwani informed a Bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices LS Panta and P Sathasivam.
He said residents of 24 villages falling within the identified area were relocated in 2003, but the plan mooted by Wildlife Institute of India and approved by National Board for Wildlife was still hanging. Appearing for Gujarat, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the state's opposition to the plan is based on solid environmental grounds. He said even the wildlife experts feel that lions could not be relocated to experimental surroundings already inhabited by tigers. "You cannot mix cheese with chalk," he said.
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