Monday, July 29, 2013

Gujarat objects to tiger experts on panel to shift Gir lions.

Himanshu Kaushik, TNN Jul 27, 2013, 03.12AM IST
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government has written to the minister of environment and forests (MoEF) raising objections over the composition of the 12-member committee to chalk out the translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh.
Gujarat has also objected to the first meeting of the committee, formed on orders of Supreme Court, scheduled for Monday in Delhi.
While some of the names of committee members have been suggested by the apex court, it had also observed that the Union ministry was free to co-opt lion experts from anywhere in the country.
The letter says that experts from Gujarat have been ignored even as most of the existing members specialize on tiger conservation.
The Gujarat government has objected to Monday's meeting at a time when it had moved SC with a review petition seeking a fresh look into the judgment dated April 15, allowing the translocation. The letter, signed by chief wildlife warden C N Pandey, has requested the Union ministry to postpone the meeting till the outcome of the review petition.
"We were taken aback when we heard that the committee has already announced its first meeting as we were under the impression that it will happen only after the SC disposes the review petition," said a senior Gujarat official.
While admitting that such a letter has been dashed off to the Centre, H K Dash, principal secretary of state forest and environment, refused to divulge any information about the contents of the letter.
The 12 committee includes additional director general (wildlife), MoEF as the chairperson and has experts like AJT Johnsingh, Y B Jhala, Ravi Chellam, P R Sinha and M K Ranjitsinh besides chief wildlife wardens of MP and Gujarat.
The committee will decide on the number of lions to be shifted, identify individual animals for shifting, monitor the shifting on behalf of the MoEF and provide technical inputs for translocation.

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