Stalemate on translocation of Gir lions Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh to be used as tiger habitat now
As translocation of lions from Gir in Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh doesn’t seem possible despite the Supreme Court’s order to the effect Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary to which the Asiatic lions were to be shifted, will be used as a habitat of tigers from different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
A decision was taken in this regard by Madhya Pradesh Wildlife Board at its meeting chaired by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday.
Proposed translocation of Gir lions to Kuno-Palpur is a part of an Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project initiated by central government’s Wildlife Institute of India in 1995. The project was aimed at protecting the lions from the threat of epidemic, natural disasters etc and thus create another sanctuary for them. Kuno-Palpur was considered as a suitable sanctuary for the same.
However, Gujarat government has been opposing the proposed shifting of lions for long and it has led to a legal tussle too. The Supreme Court order in 2013 was in favour of shifting of some of lions to Kuno-Palpur. However, the shifting continues to be delayed on some ground or the other.
As per official spokesperson, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan instructed the authorities concerned at the wildlife board meeting on Tuesday to shift tigers to Kuno Palpur from other parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Talking to the Hindustan Times principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) Jiendra Agrawal said, “We will identify the tigers who have strayed out of their habitat and shift them to the Kuno-Palpur after tranquilising them. This is a routine exercise for us. We will manage it will.”
As per the government spokesperson the meeting also took a decision on a long-term plan to conserve forest and promote the wildlife. Under the plan, 5% of the amount ‘obtained from non-forest work under state’s protected areas will be deposited in Tiger Foundation Society’. The amount would be spent on conservation of forest and promotion of wildlife.
CM said at the meeting, “A long term plan should be made to increase the number of tigers and leopards in state. Stern action should be taken in incidents of illegal hunting of tigers and death of tigers due to electrocution. Forest department should consider tiger conservation with integrity. Efforts should be made to stop loss of life due to their entry in residential areas. Efforts should be made to increase grassland for conservation of Kharmore and Son Chiraiyya.”
An approval was also granted to construct speed breakers in the areas identified to avoid injuries to loss of life of animals in road accidents.