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Cong raps BJP for delay in shifting lions from Gujarat to MP

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

The opposition in Madhya Pradesh has slammed the ruling BJP over the delay in trans-locating some lions from Gujarat's Gir forest to the state, an issue which is hanging fire since some years.

The delay is despite the fact that the BJP is ruling at the Centre as well as in Madhya Pradesh, of Opposition in Assembly, Ajay Singh, said.

"The had given its approval long ago. People of nearly 25 villages in were relocated to create a second home for lions in Kuno-Palpur sanctuary, as keeping them at one place may endanger their existence, but nothing has happened so far," Singh told

Nothing happened on this front when was the of and even after he became the prime minister, he noted.

"Whether it is water or lions, (Shivraj Singh) Chouhan failed to protect the state's interests," Singh charged.

However, said governments of both the states were trying to resolve the issue.

"Though has a special privilege in the matter, efforts are being made to ensure that lions are trans-located to the (in Sheopur district of Gwalior division), as per the Supreme Court's directives," he said.

Agrawal refused to say anything further as the matter is sub-judice in court.

The Gir forest in is the only abode of lions in while the is home to several tiger reserves.

As per the census of 2015, there were 523 lions in and around the


In April 2013, the had ordered shifting of some of the lions to Kuno-Palpur, but the reintroduction plan faced stiff opposition from

Ajay Dube, who had earlier filed a contempt petition in the on the delay in trans-location of lions, said, "The Centre recently informed the apex court that a meeting will be held on March 13 between stakeholders to discuss the modalities of shifting the lions."

Officials of the and governments, the Wildlife Institute of (WII) and the Ministry of and Forest would meet to discuss the modalities for shifting lions to Kuno-Palpur, which was chosen as the second home for the wild cats after a thorough research.

A large number of people, including tribals, were rehabilitated in the hope that they will get employment once the lions were shifted (due to better tourism prospects), but in vain, Singh rued.

Dube said the apex court had in 2013 directed to shift a few lions from to Kuno-Palpur, but the western state filed a review petition and later a curative petition in the matter. Both the petitions were, however, dismissed by the SC.

"In case they fail to draw a concrete roadmap after the upcoming meeting, we will again approach the on the issue," he said.

The is spread in an area of 344.686 sq kms and has a rich diversity of indigenous flora and fauna, a said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 11:40 IST
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