Central fund for Greater Gir yet to come: Govt
Times of India
The Gujarat government has asserted that it has still not heard from the Centre about its demand for Rs 262.35 crore to fund Greater Gir Lion Conservation Project. In a written reply to senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia's question in the state assembly, state forest and environment minister Mangubhai Patel said, the project was sent to Delhi for approval in 2009 and that "it has still not been approved".
Giving a breakup, the minister said, of the Rs 262.65 crore, the biggest share of Rs 179.08 crore is meant for relocating people who still live in the Gir sanctuary area. The money demanded is under the head "village eco-development and voluntary relocation of forest dwellers, including Gir maldharis". Another Rs 39.47 crore has been demanded to "promote habitat and wildlife protection".
In all, money has been demanded under 10 different heads, which include habitat improvement (Rs 15.43 crore), wildlife and nature education (Rs 11.88 crore), veterinary care (Rs 6.99 crore), survey demarcation and land related works (Rs 1.08 crore), general operations and maintenance (Rs 25 lakh), and management and planning (Rs 18 lakh). The state government wants to build Gir lions' corridor in the surrounding area of Gir national park and sanctuary.
It includes areas like Girnar mountains, Mitiayla sanctuary, Pania, Junagarh, Bhensan, Visavadar, Vendarda, Kodinar, Una and Hati areas of Junagadh district; Dhari, Rajula, Liliya, Bagasara, Savarkundla and Khambha areas of Amreli district; and Gariyadhar, Jesar, Palitana and Mahua areas of Bhavnagar district. "Once the allocation is made, we will decide how to implement the project in the Gir lions' corridor that has spread to these areas", the minister underlined.