The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to construct a VVIP guest house near Mulayam Singh Yadav’s dream project – lion safari —in Etawah on grounds that the district already has three guest houses under the forest department, it is learnt.
The state forest department’s response to this rejection, however, was another request to MoEF, which currently remains pending.
The forest department, in its new request, has claimed that scientists from Dehradun’s Indian Wildlife Institute of India and Bareilly’s Indian Veterinary Research Institute, besides government officials, will be visiting the safari frequently and therefore a guest house would be required. The department has also given an undertaking that trees will not be felled while constructing the guest house.
The proposed double-storeyed guest house was to come up within 50 metre of the lion safari.
over an area of 0.9503 hectares. The proposed guest house had provisions for four rest rooms, four garages, a pond and a watch tower, besides other things.
But the MoEF, on November 27 last year, rejected the proposal, claiming there are already three guest houses in Etawah — one at Raja Sumer’s fort, hardly one kilometre from the lion safari; another at a distance of two kilometres; and the third in Chakarnagar, nearly 35 kilometres from the safari. It also contended that since the proposed guest house is not part of the safari, it has not been approved by the Central Zoo Authority. The proposal has been rejected on merit, claims the ministry.
At present, work on lion safari project is being carried out on a war footing by the state government, with January 31 being the deadline. Already two pair of lions have been brought from Gujarat and another pair from Hyderabad for the project.