Gujarat forms subcommittee for lion translocation
The Times of India
AHMEDABAD: In a major step taken to ease translocation of lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh, the Gujarat government has formed a nine-member subcommittee headed by the principal chief conservator of forest of the state.
To address Gujarat's concerns over lion translocation, the 12-member committee formed under the directions of the Supreme Court to oversee lion translocation from Gir to Kuno-Palpur in Madhya Pradesh will now have two sub-committes, one in each of the two states, to help smoothen the task. The sub-committees will be headed by principal chief conservators of forest from the respective states, and each sub-committee will have representation from the other state party to the translocation.
"To ensure that all concerns of the Gujarat government are amicably resolved and lion translocation can take place without hindrance, the 12-member committee of the apex court has asked both the states to form sub-committees for translocation," said a source in Gujarat's sub-committee for lion translocation.
He added, "The sub-committee will be headed by the principal chief conservators of forest, and include state government officials, a representative each from Madhya Pradesh forest department, Union government and Wildlife Insitute of India."
The sub-committee in MP will be formed similarly, said the source.
G K Sinha, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) said the Gujarat sub-committee has on board the PCCF (wildlife), additional PCCF (wildlife), conservator of forest Junagadh (wildlife), conservator of forest Junagadh, deputy conservator of forest (headquarters) and the director of Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation as members.
Yadvendradev Jhala of the WII said, "We have received the letter from Gujarat government to appoint a representative on the committee. The committee mandate is to ensure translocation of the lions." Sources in the lion translocation committee said that Gujarat has been raising objections and misgivings about successful translocation citing a poor prey base, smaller area, lack of proper relocation of the people in Kuno-Palpur, among other issues. This sub-committee will ensure that the concerns raised by Gujarat are addressed and with a member from the Gujarat government in MP's sub-committee it will be ensured that things are done according to the satisfaction of Gujarat's state government.
A forest officer said that when all key issues raised by Gujarat are addressed to the state's satisfaction, the two sub-committees will submit their report to the main committee and lion translocation will beging. Formation of the two-subcommittees will help ensure direct involvement and regular monitoring of translocation by both the states, said the officer.