Saturday, March 12, 2011

62 cases of attack by Gir big cats in 3 years.

Forest dept paid victims or their kin Rs 20.6L in damages
Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau
Posted On Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 03:15:12 AM
There have been 6,237 cases of attack on domestic animals
Wild animals, including lions, have attacked 162 human beings in Gir forest in last three years, Forest Minister Mangu Patel told the state assembly on Wednesday. The government has paid Rs 20.6 lakh to victims or their kin in damages.
There have been 6,237 cases of attack on domestic animals and the government has paid Rs 1.29 crore in compensation to their owners, the minister told Talala MLA Bhagwan Barad in reply to a question. Patel said that Rs 23.57 crore has been allocated for various activities in the Gir forest region for 2010-11. The government has spent about Rs 16.40 crore so far, he said. The money was spent on forest conservation and management, conservation of lions, development of water bodies, eco-tourism, etc.
The population of lions in Gir is 411. Out of this, 140 are living on revenue land out of forest areas, leading to more incidences of man-animal conflict. Lions have been spotted in Girnar forest, Veraval, coastal areas of Sutrapada apart form their natural habitat in Gir forest.
A group of men also killed a lion in self-defence after the animal attacked them near a village close to the Gir wildlife sanctuary on March 22 last year. Seven men, including a forest beat guard, were injured. They allegedly killed the lion with axes.
While a hungry lion may attack a human, some male lions seem to seek out human prey. However, wild lions are much less likely to attack humans than wild tigers,”said Principal Conservator of Forest Pradeep Khanna. “On an average 50 people are injured every year by wild animals in Gir forest. Most of the injuries are inflicted by leopards,” he added.

Opposition Congress walked out of the assembly on the issue of allotment of forest land to adivasi population, alleging that the ruling BJP was anti-tribal, PTI reported. During the question-answer session, Congress alleged that the state government was not giving land to tribals as per rules described in the Forest Rights Act (FRA).
Congress MLA from Dediapada in south Gujarat Amarsinh Vasava had asked the question on the status of applications under FRA of Tapi district.
Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil said in past three years, 11,947 applications were made under the Act, of which only 728 have been approved, while 3,148 have been rejected and over 8,000 applications were still pending. He said despite certification from Gram Sabha, the applications of tribals under the FRA were being rejected.
Minister of Forest and Environment Mangubhia Patel said that every genuine application for forest land would be approved. He said, since 1966, the state government had given forest lands to 45,000 tribals even before the FRA was introduced. Congress members started shouting slogans saying that injustice was being done to tribals under the Narendra Modi government. 


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