Friday, August 21, 2009

MP asks Centre to direct Gujarat for relocating Asiatic Lions

MP asks Centre to direct Gujarat for relocating Asiatic Lions
Times of India

Asking the Centre to intervene in the long pending matter of relocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat to the state, Madhya Pradesh government sought release of funds to set up breeding centres for the wild cat.

"All preparations for relocation of the Asiatic Lions had been completed in 2005 only... However, these Lions have not been received from Gir Sanctuary of Gujarat," Madhya Pradesh Minister for Forest Rajendra Shukla said at the national conference of state ministers of environment and forests here.

He said, as an alternative arrangement the Centre had proposed that the project be taken forward through Asiatic Lions bred in Zoos.

"Central Zoo Authority had sanctioned over Rs 71 lakh for establishment of breeding center for Asiatic Lions in Palpur-Kuno sanctuary in 2008-09. The same has not been received till now," Shukla said.

The Minister requested immediate release of this amount and to transfer zoo bred Asiatic Lions.

He also urged the Centre to define "forest" clearly as there were difficulties being faced by the states due to the definition of forests given by the Supreme Court.

Only those areas may be considered as forests that are notified under the Indian (Forest) Act, 1927. According to the definition given by Supreme Court, all such areas that are recorded as any type of forest under any government record have been defined as forests, he said.

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