Saturday, July 14, 2012

Indian state’s grip on rare lions may be too tight

Indian state's grip on rare lions may be too tight
Businessmirror By Katy Daigle

Supreme Court amicus curiae P S Narasimha sought directions from the apex court on the formation of a sub-committee to look into shifting lions to Kuno-Palpur from Gir.

The Gujarat government is fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court in the wake of a PIL filed by an environment group seeking translocation of some Asiatic lions from Gir to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno-Palpur sanctuary.

The amicus curiae proposed to the SC that a sub-committee be formed to look into the adequacy, preparedness of the staff and other factors including prey base. The committee according to the proposal should take a fresh into the issue.

Principal Secretary Forests and Environment S K Nanda confirmed that a proposal for a sub committee has been forwarded to the SC by amicus curie PS Narasimha.

Recently the Supreme Court had sent a team to Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to take a view of all concerned parties including the local people.

The state wildlife board at a meeting in March, unanimously resolved that the opinions of the people of Saurashtra should be taken into consideration before a decision is taken.

Senior wildlife activists Lavkumar Kachar had argued that the lion belonged to the people of the Saurashtra, not to the Central or Gujarat governments. He said that the felines are an important part of the biodiversity of the area. He also argued that no government or agency could take a decision without the consent of Saurashtra's people. He added that the people of the region have played a major role in conservation of the lion.

Nanda said that Gujarat government has been pitching in the apex court that the issue of relocation of Lions to Kuno Palpur be looked into afresh as their population in Gujarat was steadily increasing. He further said that transferring the animals would adversely affect conservation.

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