Steering panel holds first meeting
The Times Of India
AHMEDABAD: A meeting of the steering committee formed for translocating lions from Gir Forest in Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh was held in Delhi on Tuesday. The committee directed the Madhya Pradesh forest department to form a panel similar to the one in Gujarat. The steering committee has asked the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to appoint its representative in both the committees.
In 2013, the apex court had ordered the translocation of lions from Gir to Kuno Palpur. The steering committee comprises six members and the additional director general of forests (of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change) is the chairman. The others members include a scientist, the representative of the WII, principal chief conservators of forests from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, and the director of wildlife preservation from the ministry.
On Tuesday, the first meeting of the steering committee was held. Since the ministry has not appointed scientists for the translocation mission, the meeting was adjourned with directions to Madhya Pradesh to form the committee and to the WII to appoint its representatives to both the committees. A source in the committee said: "Madhya Pradesh was to form the committee, but instead of appointing the members, the Madhya Pradesh forest department sent a report asking the steering committee to form the Madhya Pradesh coordination committee."
The steering committee has asked Madhya Pradesh to have a Gujarat representative in the committee it is to form. The Madhya Pradesh government was also asked to appoint its representative in the Gujarat committee. Earlier this month, to ease the translocation process, the Gujarat government had formed a nine-member subcommittee headed by the principal chief conservator of forests. The Gujarat subcommittee will be headed by the principal chief conservator of forests, and include state government officials, a representative from the Madhya Pradesh forest department, Union government, and the WII.