Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gir lions to roar in Mulayam’s Etawah.

Published: Monday, Apr 30, 2012, 9:15 IST
By Deepak Gidwani | Place: Lucknow | Agency: DNA
In about two years from now, the Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh would have one more thing to boast of apart from its “son of the soil” Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav - a lion safari. The idea was mooted by Yadav himself in his last regime in 2005, and would now take shape during the regime of his son and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the forest minister. Both, Mulayam and Akhilesh were born and brought up in Etawah.
UP Forest Department (UPFD) officials say Akhilesh, a graduate in environmental engineering, is keen on having the lion safari in Etawah. “In the very first meeting soon after he took over as chief minister, he issued directions for expediting the lion safari project,” says principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) HS Asthana. “We are in the process of finalizing the master plan in keeping with the directions of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA),” he added.
The safari would come up in about 150 hectares out of which 50 hectares would comprise the core area habited by lions, while the rest of the 100 hectares would serve as the buffer zone. The land for the project has already been identified in the Fisher Forest area of Etawah. The project would take about two years to complete after the CZA grants approval.
The state government recently sent a request to the Gujarat government asking for a lion and four lionesses needed for natural breeding. The Gir National Park in Junagadh (Gujarat) is the only natural habitat of pure Asian lions in Asia. When the original project had been sent to the CZA in 2005, it had granted approval on the condition that a lion breeding centre be set up as part of the safari.
Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_gir-lions-to-roar-in-mulayams-etawah_1682423

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