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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

UP govt confident of starting lion safari soon

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, October 02, 2012
First Published: 12:11 IST(2/10/2012) | Last Updated: 12:16 IST(2/10/2012)

The state government is confident of overcoming hurdles in way of its dream project — the Lion Safari project for Etawah.

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Minister of state for zoological gardens Shiv Pratap Yadav on Monday said answers to objections raised by ministry of forest and environment in the regard would be sent soon.

Conceptualised during the last tenure of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government (2003-2007), the project was put on hold by the BSP government. Currently, the project is lying dormant due to objections with regard seeking permission.

“The previous government stopped work on it but this time, the project will see the light of the day. We shall remove all hurdles coming its way,” said the minister while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Wildlife Week-2012 at the Lucknow Zoo.

On the objections, the minister said, “They have been studied and suitable work has been done to the satisfaction of the union ministry. Soon, a no-objection certificate would be obtained.”

The union ministry will soon be sent reply on the objections, said a senior forest official. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s dream project to have a lion safari in his native district Etawah saw objection from the union ministry of environment and forest that took note of alleged violation of provisions under Forest Conservation Act 1980.

The ministry said state government was going ahead with the project without permission mandatory under the Forest Conservation Act for using forestland for the purpose of lion safari.

Presently, Uttar Pradesh has one national park and 24 zoological gardens where visitors come to see animals. The Lucknow Zoo itself gets nearly 11 lakh visitors annually.

During the function, nearly two dozen people/organisations were honoured for adopting animals in the Lucknow Zoo, including Bank of Baroda, The Smile Train, Sanjay Saigal, Kumkum Saigal and zoo director Renu Singh, who herself had adopted an animal on the campus.
 
The youngest one to be honoured was three-month-old Pari Saigal. Her parents too had adopted animals in the past and adopted another one in their daughter's name.


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