Friday, August 29, 2014

MP seeks Centre’s help to get Gir lions

MP seeks Centre's help to get Gir lions
The Free Press Journal

The State government has approached the union ministry of forests and environment with a project to the tune of Rs 59 crore for relocation of Asiatic Lion in Palanpur Kuno national forest reserve following rejection of its request in this regard thrice by Gujarat government.

Forests minister Dr Gaurishankar Shejwar said, he talked in this regard with union minister Prakash Javdekar in his recent Delhi visit and requested the Centre's intervention in resolving the long pending issue.

Technical committee formed by national tiger conservation authority (NTCA) suggested to shift some Asiatic Lion from Gir National Park of Gujarat to protect the endangered species. MP government submitted its request to relocate some lions in Kuno Park but it was rejected at different times by Gujarat government.

The minister said "The State has submitted a proposal of Rs 69 crore to the centre for relocating two villages from the national park to increase its area."

State government has already sanctioned Rs 30 crore in current fiscal year in anticipation of the centre fund so that relocation process could start immediately, the minister said.

Forests officials said relocation of two villages from the national park would provide additional space and make entire area of 600 square km. The Gujarat government earlier refused to provide the lions on the ground that Kuno national park has not required 500 square km area.

Shejwar said number of tigers in Panna national park is around 28-30 and coming wild life census report would be boost for the state government.

The minister said he talked with the union government to hold a joint meeting of forests officials of MP and Union ministry to resolve issues at single platform which he had agreed. Shejwar said he had requested the union government to provide relaxation in its rule to excavate sand stone from forests area for road construction and other developmental works.

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