Tuesday, February 22, 2011

State seeks Rs600 crore for road around Gir sanctuary

State seeks Rs600 crore for road around Gir sanctuary

The state government has asked the Centre to approve Rs600 crore for constructing a ring road around the Gir Lion Sanctuary for protection and conservation of lions.

State forest and environment minister Mangu Patel raised the demand when he called on his counterpart at the centre, Jairam Ramesh on Monday.

During the discussion, Patel urged that the union government should approve the funds for building the road. He also sought quick release of funds from Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority Fund (CAMPA).

The Gujarat minister said that the state government has a total provision of Rs485 crore for compensatory funds parked with Centre, which includes Rs132.63 crore towards compensatory afforestation and Rs349.72 crore towards net present value.

Patel said that the union government has so far released ad-hoc funds of Rs24.96 crore and Rs29.16 crore in two installments from CAMPA. He said that the released funds were grossly inadequate, and urged for release of more funds.

He also requested for release of funds for State Forest Development Agency and under the Greening India Programme. He also called for establishment of a national level biodiversity institute in Jamnagar or Kutch.

Ramesh assured that he would look into the issues and sort them out at the earliest. He also accepted the invitation to visit Gujarat.
Minister of state for forest and environment Kiritsinh Rana, principal secretary, forest and environment, SK Nanda, and principal chief conservator of forests Pradeep Khanna, were also present during the meeting.

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