Friday, March 05, 2010

Lion to get more land near Wankaner

Lion to get more land near Wankaner
Times of India

The state government, for the first time, came out in the open in the state assembly regarding its opposition to shifting of Asiatic lions from Gir to Madhya Pradesh.

The government in reply to the question asked by MLA of Karjan Chandu Dabhi said on Tuesday that for conservation of the lions, the government has identified a land near Wankaner near Rajkot.

The government has said that as part of the long-term conservation programme, it has identified this piece of land and has taken up the afforestation along with conservation plans in the area. Drinking water facilities have also been planned and check dams constructed for this purpose.

Further in reply to Jodia MLA Raghavji Patel's question, the state government said Central government has also in Supreme Court forwarded an opinion favouring shifting of lions to Madhya Pradesh.

The government added that SC has directed the standing committee of National Wildlife Advisory Board to discuss the issue and Central government based on the recommendation of this standing committee has forwarded its proposal to SC favouring the transfer of lions.

In the reply, government stated that it has opposed this move in the Supreme Court and even before the standing committee.

Moreover, while replying to third question related to lions, the government said that for the conservation of lions, it has constructed 29 speed-breakers between Mendarda and Talala. According to government, they have been constructed keeping in view the safety of the lions and also under the powers given to the officials under Wildlife protection act, 1972. Officials added that they had received representation to remove these speed-breakers.

Essar encroachment case: Govt mulling action against four forest officials

The state government is contemplating initiating legal action against four government officials for their involvement in four incidents of forest land encroachment by the Essar company. The government in reply to a question asked by Kalupur MLA Mohammed Farooq Shaikh said that the deputy conservator of forest in Vyara has filed four cases against the company under the Indian Forest Act 1927. The DCF has registered four cases between January 19, 2007 to October 30, 2007. Government said that Essar Steel had started construction of factory on forest land in Hazira village which had been stopped by the forest department. In another case, the company had allegedly carried out cleaning and had even fenced the same area which was also stopped by the forest department.

On February 6, 2007, a third case was registered against the company for carrying out illegal construction on the area. The fourth case, which was registered on October 30, 2007, was also about encroachment in the forest land. The government has said that in all four officials, including two range forest officials (survey) and surveyors each were found to be involved in the incident and the government has sought legal opinion on taking action against the officials.

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