Gujarat govt will file review petition against SC order on lions’ translocation
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat State Wildlife
Board (GSWF) on Thursday decided to file a review petition against the Supreme
Court order for translocation of some Asiatic lions from Gir to Kuno-Palpur
sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
The meeting chaired by Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi expressed regret that the Supreme Court has totally ignored the
facts presented by the Gujarat government and GSWB against the translocation.
“It was unanimously decided in the
meeting of the board to challenge the Supreme Court decision to translocate
only surviving Asiatic Lions from Gir,” forest minister Ganpat Vasava told
reporters after the meeting. “We will file a review petition,” he added.
Translocation of lions has become an
issue with between the two BJP ruled states of Gujarat and MP, as the former
has been constantly opposing the move proposed by the National Wildlife Board.
The apex court had earlier this month
directed the Centre to shift the Asiatic lions from the Gir forest to Kuno
sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, saying the big cats need a second home to prevent
their extinction due to some epidemic or large forest fire.
Currently, Gujarat\'s Gir sanctuary is the
only home to Asiatic lions in the world. A century ago, Gir housed around 100
Asiatic lions, whose number, as per the last census conducted in 2010, stood at
over 400. The state has been opposing the relocation of lions, considered as ‘pride
Wildlife expert Luvkumar Kachar said, “The
Supreme Court has not listened to the views of GSWB which had given an opinion
against the translocation of lions. If view of state board is not taken into
consideration then why have such boards”.
Gujarat had raised the issue of rampant
poaching of tigers in MP, low prey base in the Kuno sanctuary and the harsh
climatic conditions in the reserve forest area which they say would be
counter-productive for survival of the translocated lions.