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Asiatic Lions Are Not Only Gujarat's But Asia's Pride, Measures Expected From Govt. To Protect Wild Cat: Gujarat High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
22 Sep 2021 5:19 AM GMT
Asiatic Lions Are Not Only Gujarats But Asias Pride, Measures Expected From Govt. To Protect Wild Cat: Gujarat High Court
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The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday observed that Asiatic Lions are not only the pride of Gujarat but they are the pride of Asia and that prompt measures are expected from government to protect the Wild cat.The Bench of Justice N. V. Anjaria and Justice A. P. Thaker was hearing Suo moto proceedings for the conservation of lions in and around the Gir sanctuary in the State of Gujarat which...

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday observed that Asiatic Lions are not only the pride of Gujarat but they are the pride of Asia and that prompt measures are expected from government to protect the Wild cat.

The Bench of Justice N. V. Anjaria and Justice A. P. Thaker was hearing Suo moto proceedings for the conservation of lions in and around the Gir sanctuary in the State of Gujarat which was originated in 2018 after a news report appeared which stated that around 184 lions had died in the previous two years.

On Tuesday, the Court was hearing a civil application filed by the Amicus in the matter, wherein two prayers were raised before the Court. Firstly, cancellation of allotment of land in the Gir Sanctuary for various projects (Gas pipelines, optical fibers, etc.) and secondly, to not divert 150 hectares of land to the railways for the purpose of upgrading of tracks to broad gauge and electrification of tracks.

In response to this application, the state government submitted that the proposed project was in the domain of the Indian Railways, and the state has not yet given its nod to the proposal for broad-gauging and track electrification.

Opposing the civil application, the State submitted that the same was at a nascent stage and there was nothing happening on the ground. It was also submitted that the stage of giving an opinion regarding the project by the state was yet to come.

Against this backdrop, the Court asked the railways to clarify its stand on the impact of its proposed project on the sanctuary and wildlife. The Court has also sought details about the existing railway lines and the frequency of trains.

Further, the Court has also sought details regarding the number of passengers to be ferried daily, accidents involving lions and trains, and the possible effect of the up-gradation of tracks on wildlife, especially, on the lions.

The Court also asked the authorities working in and around the Sanctuary to understand their responsibility and take measures to protect the wildlife, especially the lions.

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