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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Government clueless on deadline to shift Gujarat Asiatic lions to MP

Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh asked the minister that whether he would urge the Prime Minister in this regard.

By: PTI | Bhopal | Published: February 28, 2017 6:02:37 pm

Madhya Pradesh government Tuesday said in the Legislative Assembly that it is clueless about the deadline to translocate some Asiatic Lions from Gujarat’s Gir National Park to state’s Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. State forest minister Dr Gaurishankar Shejwar, in his reply to a question raised by Congress MLA Ramniwas Rawat, said a decision in this regard was to be taken by an expert committee set up by the Centre in accordance with Supreme Court directives.

“No deadline has been set for the translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat’s Gir to state’s Palpur-Kuno. The decisions in this regard are to be taken by the committee appointed by the Supreme Court,” Shejwar said. Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh pointed out that a long period has passed and several tribal families have been shifted from Palpur-Kuno. They are deprived of their farm land in order to prepare the sanctuary for the arrival of Gir lions.

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Singh asked the minister that whether he would urge the Prime Minister in this regard. To which, Shejwar said that the Prime Minister has no direction connection with the issue as all the decisions were to be taken by the SC-appointed committee. He further informed that the members of the committee have already inspected the preparations at Palpur-Kuno in Sheopur district.

“State government rehabilitated the families. A tripartite agreement including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Centre would be signed before the translocation. The committee will have to take initiatives in this regard,” Shejwar said. Intervening in the matter, BJP MLA from Durgalal Vijay urged the state government to take pro-active initiatives to ensure early shifting of lions.

It may be noted that the state government has been seeking transfer of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Palpur-Kuno sanctuary for quite sometime now. The reintroduction plan of the lions had faced a stiff opposition from Gujarat.

In April 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered shifting of some lions to Palpur-Kuno. The SC-appointed committee had also made a visit to the sanctuary in December last year.

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