Monday, August 03, 2009

Hundred more Maldhari families to move out of Gir


Hundred more Maldhari families to move out of Gir



 Even as the debate rages over shifting of lions outside Gir, the Gujarat government has decided to relocate 100 more Maldhari families living inside the Gir National Park. They will be shifted as part of a project to resettle these herdsmen outside the sanctuary.

According to the plan, prepared by state forest department, each family will receive a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and rehabilitated outside the sanctuary. These families will be shifted by December 2010. So far, 542 families have already been shifted and now nearly 360 are in the forest.


Officials from the department said the government has already made allocation in the 2009-10 budget.


The Maldharis have been living inside the Gir sanctuary for centuries and consistently refused proposals for relocation made by the past state governments since 1972. However, the government has now worked out a compensation package which may be acceptable to the Maldharis.


Officials said since 1972, the state government could persuade only a small number of Maldhari families to relocate, while the rest of the herdsmen continued to live inside the national park.


Experts say the lions are threatened by man-animal conflict, accidents and poaching. Earlier, a proposal to shift a pride of lions to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary was made, but it has been rejected by the state government.


Officials said a scheme for relocation of Maldharis from Gir Sanctuary is in the interest of wildlife conservation and socio economic development of Maldharis. The scheme has been submitted to the Centre under 100 per cent centrally-sponsored scheme category. Besides, state government budget proposal states that for preparation of management plan for Gir National Park and sanctuaries, the required professional services will be obtained through outsourcing.

No comments:

Previous Posts