Tuesday, December 29, 2015

PIL against lion safari in Ambardi

PIL against lion safari in Ambardi
The Times of India

Ahmedabad: A PIL in Gujarat high court on Tuesday questioned the forest department's proposal to create a 400-hectare lion safari park in near Ambardi village of Gir sanctuary on the ground that such a move would lead to ecological imbalance in the area and would disturb the wildlife.
Petitioner, a wildlife activist Biren Pandya, sought HC's intervention on the issue and urged the court to restrain forest officials from fencing and putting up permanent structures in the reserved forest area. He has argued that such a construction would adversely affect the wildlife in the area, moreover it is against the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The petitioner contended that the park is proposed in the Ambardi reserve forest area which is a habitat of nearly 35-40 free ranging Asiatic lions. And the Chapter IV of the WP Act does not allow any such construction in the reserved forest area.
Construction and fencing would create hurdle in movement of not only lions but also other animals that fall in Schedule I category. This will lead to destruction of wildlife in this area. Moreover, any tinkering with the natural ecology of the jungle will lead to trouble for the endangered species of birds and they might face extinction.

Besides, the petitioner has raised the issue of corridors - Ambardi-Ranigala, Vadal-Gir PA, Ambardi-Lilya - and argued that these corridors which lion uses for movement would be destroyed.
Pandya in his petition stated that the forest department authorities have failed to learn lessons from the Devaliya model, which has created problems for wildlife. He has also sought HC guidelines for the foresters in this regard.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice VM Pancholi asked the state government to show provision in the WP Act or in any other law that permits the authorities to create such facility in forest areas. Further hearing is kept in January.

Earlier, the HC ordered the government to put things in place with regard to permission to hospitality units and encroachment. This too happened in response to an anonymous letter, which objected to similar proposal to create an eco-tourism site in the south-eastern part of Gir sanctuary.

No comments:

Previous Posts