Friday, April 27, 2012

Farmers told to barricade wells on Gir periphery

Farmers told to barricade wells on Gir periphery

Farmers living in the vicinity of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary have been asked to barricade about 3,000 open wells to prevent Asiatic lions from falling into them.

The farmers have been asked to construct parapet walls around the open wells to prevent them from becoming death traps for Asiatic lions, Anshuman Sharma, Deputy Conservator of Forest (Gir East), said today.

A total of 8,500 such wells were located in the area. Of these, 5,482 had been covered under a programme started in December 2007, he said.

The wells are dug by farmers who need water for crop irrigation and livestock.

The farmers are being given a Government grant for Rs 8,000 for covering each well, Sharma said.

A sub-adult lion (aged about one-and-half-year) was rescued yesterday from an open well in Ningala village of Amreli district.

Several lions have died in the last few years after falling in open wells. The wells have been divided into two categories - those falling within 2km radius of the sanctuary and the others located 2km away from it.

As per the last Census conducted in April 2010, there are 411 Asiatic lions in Gir, spread over districts of Junagadh and Amreli. The sanctuary is the only abode of Asiatic lions.

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