Friday, January 28, 2011

Girnar ropeway project under scanner

Girnar ropeway project under scanner
Times of India

The union minister for forest and environment Jairam Ramesh has said that all aspects related to the Girnar ropeway project in Junagadh district will be taken into consideration before giving it the final nod. The minister is currently on a two day visit to review the project.

In a meeting with senior state government officials, the minister sought various details about the project, including whether the agency working on the ropeway project would be amenable to make changes if required.

The minister's concerns over the project further included the safety of the people, and the presence of 25 Asiatic lions in the area which might endanger people's lives. The vultures inhabiting that region might also get affected by the project.

Ramesh had even opined that if required, the height of the project can be increased or the alternative site of the project be considered. The minister has even asked the principal secretary SK Nanda and principal chief conservator of forest Pradeep Khanna to come to Delhi for a final discussion on the project.

In the meeting, a report which was against the proposed ropeway was discussed, and a memorandum was also given to the minister by the Maldhari community, which mentioned that the community was disintegrated, dislocated and harassed because of policies of the government and especially anti-people measures by the Forest Department.

The memorandum describes in detail the hardships faced by the community following their resettlement away from the sanctuary area, and demands that all the Maldharis there should be considered permanent' and should be allowed to graze their cattle inside the forest.

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