Thursday, October 25, 2018

Will Madhya Pradesh CM dare to call on Narendra Modi for 'Gir Lions'


Will Madhya Pradesh CM dare to call on Narendra Modi for 'Gir Lions'

The Times Of India

BHOPAL: Gujarat lions is an issue which Shivraj Singh Chouhan always remained silent in 15 years of his chief ministership.

Now that 23 of Gir lions have succumbed to deadly CDV & babesiosis infection outbreak in Gir, wildlife officials want Chouhan to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rescue these magnificent species by shifting them from Gujarat to Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

While MP had won the eight-year-long legal battle with Gujarat in 2013, the latter had been dilly-delaying compliance.

"There is no delay on our part. We are ready. Its centre to decide about when and how to translocate the lions," said Shahbaz Ahmad, chief wildlife warden of MP.

A recent meeting between the MP government and its Gujarat counterparts at Bhopal over translocation of Gir lions to Kuno Palpur sanctuary remained inconclusive. Chief wildlife warden of Gujarat forest department Akshay Saxena who was present in the meeting held at state's wildlife headquarters went away asking more time to examine the 'action plan'. This despite, wildlife Institute of India (WII)- Dehradun's recommendation that Kuno is ready for translocation of lions and has ample prey base.

Questions are also being raised as to why Madhya Pradesh government has never filed contempt against the Gujarat government for not complying with the Supreme Court's order on shifting lions.

Miffed by the court order on its Gir lions, Gujarat had been asking a string of questions regarding MP's suitability to house the big cats for the past years. Among other things, they said that both weather and scarcity of prey in Kuno sanctuary would pose a problem. MP officials claim with an increase in prey base, Kuno has become the most suitable place for shifting Gir lions.

"I don't understand why MP government is not taking strong step in this regard. What we always feared has happened. The only purpose of making an alternative habitat for lions was to save them from disastrous virus attacks. We have lost 23, timely action can save the species. I will move court against the government," says Ajay Dubey, wildlife activist who had filed a contempt petition in the court on the matter.

"Instead of discussing the matter in a closed room, Shivraj Singh Chouhan should dare to discuss this matter with Narendra Modi now. Its high time," he added.

Gujarat lions: Will Madhya Pradesh CM dare to call on Narendra Modi for 'Gir Lions' | India News - Times of India 

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