Saturday, November 15, 2014

Activists to protest in Delhi over delay in translocation of lions to MP

Activists to protest in Delhi over delay in translocation of lions to MP
Hindustan Times

With Gujarat government yet to provide lions for translocation to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno Palpur for ensuring their 'long-term survival', wildlife lovers and activists from Madhya Pradesh will hold a dharna in New Delhi from November 27, when the winter session of the Parliament is underway.

The dharna will be held under the banner of Environmental Action Group Prayatna, led by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey. Prayatna secretary Dubey, while talking to HT, said they (activists and wildlife lovers) were left with no other option but to stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar.

The Environmental Action Group has already filed a contempt petition against ministry of environment and forests and Gujarat government for not complying Supreme Court order on translocation of lions. "Somehow, the MP government is afraid to push the matter. We have been left with no other option but to take our demand directly to New Delhi," he said.

Dubey said that following the rejection of the curative petition filed by Gujarat government against translocation of lions, there was only one thing left — translocation of lions as soon as possible.

According to Dubey, he has also decided to write letters to all the members of Parliament from the state, including environment minister Prakash Javadekar.

Dubey said that in 1993, the Wildlife Institute of India had conducted a study to identify the best area for translocation of lions and they found Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in MP most suitable for the purpose.

"Wildlife lovers across the country want Modi to fast-track the translocation of lions as per the orders or the apex court. We are pushing for early shifting as scientifically October to February was the best time for translocation," said Sushil Levi, an activist, who will take part in the dharna.

In August this year, the Supreme Court had rejected a curative petition filed by Gujarat government against its order directing on translocation of lions to Kuno Palpur.

Earlier on April 15, 2013, the apex court in a judgment had directed that the lions be translocated to Kuno-Palpur from the Gir Sanctuary. The court had also formed a 12-member expert panel to decide on various aspects of the translocation.

More than 400 Asiatic lions exist in Gir Sanctuary. Experts express apprehensions that high rate of inbreeding could make them susceptible to epidemics.

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