Pashu Sandesh, 18th December 2018
In spate of recent deaths of Asiatic Lions, the Central Government and Gujarat Government have announced various measures for the protection and conservation of the magnificent beasts.
In a reply to question in Lok Sabha the MoS for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change Dr Mahesh Sharma informed the house of the measures taken by the Government.
Asiatic Lion has been identified as one of the 21 Critically Endangered species for focused conservation program under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Development of Wildlife Habitat’.
Measures adopted to protect the Asiatic Lion includes:
i. Listing the species in Schedule-I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, thereby, according them highest degree of legal protection from hunting and poaching.
ii. State Government of Gujarat has taken legal, administrative and financial provisions for protection of Asiatic Lion in Gir. The legal provision includes declaring additional lion habitat area as Sanctuary. Administrative provisions include creating a new administrative pision for wildlife Management. The financial provision includes providing new scheme and additional financial support. The financial provisions are for strengthening, protection and surveillance, infrastructure, transport/communication, health infrastructure, and man animal conflict reduction measures.
iii. The State Government of Gujarat has also declared Pania, Mitiyala and Girnar sanctuary, bringing additional area of 236.73 km of Lion habitat, under Wildlife (Protection), Act, 1972.
iv. To insure and intensify protection and conservation to lion habitat outside protected areas, new pision has been declared.
v. The Government of Gujarat has declared Rs. 231.00 crore over period of 5 year for long term conservation, with main focus on reducing Man-Animal conflict. It comprises of new rescue centre, rescue teams, Rapid response team, strengthening of existing protection and surveillance infrastructure, transport/communication infrastructures , etc.
vi. Government of Gujarat has introduced 3 years package of wildlife health care and veterinary support team, including manpower and equipment.
vii. Appointment of ‘Vanya Prani Mitra’ (Wildlife Friend) in villages around Gir area.
viii. Erection of chain linked fencing on Railway track in Amreli district.
ix. Monthly Monitoring Committee has been constituted headed by Inspector General of Police, Junagarh Range having officers of Police and Forest Department as members to keep vigil on suspicious movements, exchange of information and monitoring of Wildlife offences in the area.
x. Wireless Network in and around Gir area for fast communication.
xi. Checking Nakas on entry points for keeping track of movements of vehicles and people.