The minister is expected to arrive at Sasan-Gir on the Friday night and stay overnight. On Saturday morning, he will go to see the Asiatic lions and then leave for Junagadh. Official sources say that during his visit to Junagadh, he will interact with local people and political leaders who have been pressing for the ropeway project, as it will bring in tourists.
The project has been delayed for various reasons since its foundation stone was laid by chief minister Narendra Modi in May 2007. But, after Girnar forest - covering around 178.88 sq km area including Mount Girnar - was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2008, the project went for approval to the Union ministry of environment and forests.
The proposed ropeway project site is located at Girnar mountain, which is inside the Girnar wildlife sanctuary. According to the latest estimates, there are 24 lions in the sanctuary and conservationists say that the proposed ropeway project would harm the nest of vultures, an endangered species, which roost on the mountains.