Saturday, January 18, 2014

Gujarat to file curative by end of January

Gujarat to file curative by end of January
The Times of India

 The Gujarat government is all set to file the curative petition challenging the apex court order to translocate lions to Kuno Palpur. The state had after the final order on April 15, filed a review petition which was dismissed by the court in November 2013.

HK Dash, the additional chief secretary forest and environment, says, "We have sought the legal opinion from the Supreme Court senior advocate and have also sent the order to the advocate general of the state for his comments. We will definitely file the curative by the end of this month."

Officials said seeking opinion was only the formality, but the department was already ready with the curative petition and was waiting for the clearance from the senior officials and the political bosses. This time the department is not only highlighting the achievement of the state in conservation, but will also base its petition on the fact that there picture was not grim as it has been painted by the experts.

Officials said that the recent study by Ravi Chellam and Dr Y V Jhala will also be sighted in the curative petition. The duos were asked to draw out guidelines for translocation of lion to Kuno Palpur. The duo in the report has also raised concern over the gun culture and incidents of poaching in and around Kuno Palpur. The two have also listed six aims, but the report have completed ignored the fact that the translocation was for the long term conservation of Lions which are found only in Saurashtra region in Gujarat.

Since the department has to revolve around the same arguments, even the curative petition wants to catch the MP government on its own home turf of multiplying prey base. During the hearing in the court the Madhya Pradesh claimed that the prey base in Kuno Palpur was more than that of Gir Protected Sanctuary. The MP forest department has claimed that the population excluding feral cattle has increased from 17.5 prey base in 2004 to around 70 animals per sq km in 2013. Officials said that the department will be raising a question that if the prey base was increasing, why is there no permanent population of leopards and tigers in the Kuno Sanctuary. Kuno was earlier known for tigers and leopards.

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