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Centre released ₹23 cr in three years for lion conservation: Minister

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on July 08, 2019 Published on July 08, 2019

After 413 lion deaths between 2013-18, efforts on to contain man-animal conflicts

Even as the Gujarat government has confirmed 413 Asiatic lion deaths between 2013-2018, the Centre on Monday informed that the assistance worth ₹23.16 crore has been allocated for conservation of Asiatic Lions during the past three years under the Centrally-sponsored conservation scheme.

In the State Assembly recently, the Gujarat Government had tabled the data on lion deaths mentioning that lion deaths had occurred primarily due to human-lion conflicts, falling into open wells, run over by trains or electrocuted at the electric fencing around the agricultural farms.

However, on Monday, Centre stated that the Government of India had released Rs ₹1.09 crore, ₹2.24 crore and ₹19.83 crore in the year 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively under Centrally Sponsored Scheme – Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-IDWH) for conservation of Asiatic Lions.

Responding to a question raised by Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani in the house, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Babul Supriyo informed the upper house that the Government of India (GoI) along with Government of Gujarat has launched a project titled "Asiatic Lion Conservation Project" with total budget of Rs. 97.85 crore.

The minister informed that the Gujarat government has taken legal, administrative and financial provisions for protection of Asiatic Lion in Gir, Gujarat.

“The legal provision includes declaring additional lion habitat area as Sanctuary/ National Park. The financial provisions are for strengthening, protection and surveillance, infrastructure, transport/ communication, health infrastructure, and man animal conflict reduction measures,” he stated.

The Gujarat Forest Department has also declared Pania, Mitiyala and Girnar sanctuary, bringing additional area of 236.73 km of Lion habitat, under Wildlife (Protection), Act, 1972, he informed.

According to the statement of the minister, the Government of Gujarat has allocated ₹231 crore over a period of 5 years for long term Lion conservation, with main focus on reducing Man-Animal conflict.

The State Forest Department has introduced 3 years package of wildlife health care and veterinary support team, including manpower and equipment.

These efforts comprises of creating new rescue centre, rescue teams, Rapid response team, strengthening of existing protection and surveillance infrastructure, transport/ communication infrastructures etc.

Besides, funds for Asiatic lion conservation, the Centre has also released ₹75.86 crore for Elephants and ₹1,010.69 crore for Tigers in the last three years under the CSS project.

Published on July 08, 2019
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