Friday, June 10, 2011

Govt grants Rs 50cr for Gir's upkeep, higher compensation for tribals

Govt grants Rs 50cr for Gir's upkeep, higher compensation for tribals
Times of India

The union environment ministry has earmarked a Rs 50 crore project for the upkeep of greater Gir area on the periphery of the sanctuary - an abode of Asiatic lions. It has also decided to increase the compensation package for tribals and Maldharis living within the sanctuary from Rs 1 lakh earlier to Rs 10 lakh per family.

"The 1,200 families, which include the Maldharis, demand land instead of money as compensation. We are in touch with the state government on this. In fact, in the Gir project, we have a special garland road developed around the protected sanctuary for the wildlife," said the union environment minister.

The Gir project, according to the state environment and forest sources, is worth Rs 200 crore and would be implemented in various phases.

Ramesh said that a biotechnology lab with a special cryogenic facility for preserving genetic material of endangered species of the state would be set up in the state soon.

"I have read Gujarat's proposal and I am quite satisfied with it. There are a few technical details which need to be ironed out. The secretary environment has already apprised us of the project. In the long run, this will help preserve the gene pool of the Asiatic lions and other endangered species in the country," Ramesh said.

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