Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PIL alleges illegal mining in Gir lion sanctuary in Gujarat

PIL alleges illegal mining in Gir lion sanctuary in Gujarat
Business Standard
The Gujarat High Court today issued a notice to the state government and sought details of illegal sand-mining activities in Gir lion sanctuary, the only abode for the Asiatic lions, in connection with a PIL. 
A two-judge bench of the High Court, comprising justice Jayant Patel and justice G B Shah, directed the Commissioner of Mining and Geology in the state to give details about the alleged illegal sand-mining in Gir. 
"Submit a report about the area with the sketch where the excavation of sand in Shetrunji river alongside the lion sanctuary in Amreli and Junagadh district is permitted," the high court order said. 
The high court passed the order while hearing the PIL filed by a Surat city-based person Rajkumar Sutaria who alleged that illegal mining in the area causes life-threat to wild animals like Asiatic lions, sloth-bears, hyenas and golden jackals. 
"The Chief Conservator of Forests in Junagadh district and two Deputy Conservator of Forests in Amreli shall submit the incident with details, if any, of the fire set in the eco-sensitive zone for the purpose of mining activity," said the order. 
Although the Gir Asiatic lion sanctuary is protected as an eco-sensitive zone, where no construction or development activities can take place in a radius of 10 kms, mining in Shetrunji river is going on, which threatens the existence of the wildlife, alleged the petition. 
"Because of development of the mining activity in the river, the people working for the said activity are afraid of the wild animal coming to the river and therefore, just to keep the wildlife away from the working area, they light fire on the river bank which not only causes harm to the wildlife but also threatens their life," it said. 
The High Court has posted further hearing in this case on March 26. 
Earlier, a PIL was filed on the illegal tourism-zones in the Asiatic lion sactuary of Gujarat.

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