Tuesday, July 12, 2011

State seeks funds for lion conservation

State seeks funds for lion conservation
Times of India

The state forest department has sought immediate disbursement of Rs 236.17 crore fund that was approved in-principal by the Planning Commission. During the recent meeting with Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the department officials pressed for the immediate release of the funds for the long term conservation of Asiatic lions in greater Gir area.
The Greater Gir project is estimated to cost Rs 262.36 crore with the Centre pooling in Rs 236.17 crore and Gujarat bringing in the rest Rs 26.19 crore. 

The forest officials said that after making request during the meeting, they have also sent a formal communication to the Union ministry of forest and environment. The state government has stated that as per the 2010 estimation, there were 411 lions in Gujarat. They are found not only in the Gir and nearby area, but also as far away Mahuva. 

Greater Gir, the only home of Asiatic lion, needs to be protected and managed with the long term conservation efforts, they added. The state has also mentioned the 2007 poaching incident in the letter to the Union ministry. The letter also states that in spite of successful conservation efforts over the last four decades, which has resulted in an increased population, lions are still on the critically endangered species list. 

After a string of poaching incidents in 2007, the state government not only focused its attention on the lion, but also prepared the Greater Gir project after observing that the beast was moving out of the sanctuary. 

In order to further the conservation efforst, immediate release of funds sanctioned by the commission was required, it says.
 The Greater Gir project was taken up under the centrally-sponsored Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH) scheme.
 This project will cover building of a protected lion corridor, tagging of lions, GPS mapping and creating sanctuaries in Palitana (Bhavnagar) and Barda Dungar (Porbandar), outside the 1,400 sq km of Gir National Park, from where lions are moving out.
   The project cost of Rs 262.36 Crore includes the cost of relocation and rehabilitation of locals from the forests.

No comments:

Previous Posts