Kuno Palpur Sanctuary area to be extended by 413 sq km
The Hitavada – The People's Paper
By Ankita Garg,
If the proposal sent by wildlife wing of Forest Department sees the day light then Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary will be preparing to extend its limits. The proposal sent by Wildlife Wing envisages extension of sanctuary by another 413 square kilometres.
This will not only increase the area of Kuno Palpur Sanctuary but will also make it fit to stake claim for national park status as well. Moreover, if its area is increased then it will be also fulfilling the condition of Gujarat government for translocation of its world famous Asiatic Lions.
After extension of its area, Kuno Palpur Sanctuary, which has been developed for translocation of Asiatic Lion, will spread over 1,288 sq km of area. There is proposal to de-notify the 202 sq km area of Karera Wildlife Sanctuary under district Shivpuri and 80 sq km of area of Ghatigaon Sonchidiya Sanctuary under Gwalior.
After de notification of both areas, Government would add them into Kuno Palpur Sanctuary.
Karera Wildlife Sanctuary was established in year 1981 to protect the population of Great Indian Bustard in the area. Now the area is being notified by Government due to protest by the local people and extinction of the Great Indian Bustard bird locally.
"We proposed Government to extend the area of Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary by another 413 sq km and also provide it status of National Park. Sanctuary has been developed for translocation of Asiatic lion project which is pending from over the years," said Alok Kumar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF).
Talking to 'The Hitavada, he said the biggest condition set by Gujarat government was to extend the area of Kuno Palpur sanctuary for translocation of Asiatic Lions and if the area of sanctuary is increased by another 413 sq km then automatically, Gujarat demand would get fulfilled. At present, Kuno Palpur Sanctuary is spread over 345 sq km of area and now proposal has been come up to add another 413 sq km area into it. If sanctuary gets national park status then this 413 km of area will be developed as core area and 530 sq km of additional area will be buffer zone. He said that at present Asiatic lion is only in Gir National Park of Gujarat. In year 1991, proposal came up to translocate few Asiatic Lion in Madhya Pradesh to save the endangered species from extinction.
Madhya Pradesh Government selected Kuno Palpur area for the project and started preparing the jungles of Kuno Palpur Sanctuary. In year 2003, State Government staked claim for translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat by saying that Kuno Palpur sanctuary is ready in this regard. However, Gujarat Government had certain objections over the issue and still issue pertaining to translocation of Asiatic lions which is in doldrums.
He said after getting final nod in Cabinet meeting, proposal will be sent to the Central Forest, Environment and Climate Change Ministry. The proposal will also be presented before National Wildlife Board for final nod.