High Court to form expert panel to check electric fencing in Gir
The Times of India
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Wednesday asked the state government to come up with names of six experts to form a panel which could suggest guidelines to avoid death due to electrocution in the Gir wildlife sanctuary, the last abode of the Asiatic lions.
A bench of Chief Justice RS Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi asked the additional advocate general Prakash Jani to suggest names of wildlife experts. The exercise has been undertaken in response to a PIL filed by a wildlife activist Biren Pandya, who has demanded police probe in connection with death of a pregnant lioness due to electrocution on September 1.
The division bench also issued notice to the electricity company - Paschim Gujarat Vij Co Ltd after the state government informed the court that it has instructed the electricity company to give low volt electrical supply to farms and residents inside the sanctuary.
Carcass of the pregnant lioness was found in Hiran river in Talala range of Gir sanctuary. Since the forest department could not make any breakthrough in the case, the petitioner demanded a probe by the CID (crime) so that the people responsible could be tracked down and a strong message be sent to people to refrain from putting up electrified fences around their fields. Pandya's advocate Nandish Thacker has raised the issue of safety of lions on the ground that nearly 168 out of 523 lions live outside the protected area, and their lives are at risk due to hostile behaviour of local residents. The HC has been trying to resolve the issue and the state government is suggesting measures to stop people from putting up electric fences around their farms in and around Gir. Further hearing on this PIL is scheduled to take place two weeks later.