Congress and BJP MLAs who
took part in the discussion in the Assembly wanted the MP government to
expedite the process because tribal families have been moved out long
ago in anticipation of the translocation that was mooted more than two
More than two and a half years after the Supreme Court threw out a
curative petition filed to stall translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir
in Gujarat to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, there is still no clarity
on when the process would begin.
Written by Milind Ghatwai
| Bhopal |
Published:March 1, 2017 4:45 pm
The committee of experts formed at the instance of the apex court visited the proposed translocation site in Sheopur district of MP in December last year. A draft titled the “Action plan for the Reintroduction of the Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo Persica) in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh’’ is ready.
Forest Minister Gaurishankar Shejwar on Tuesday told the Assembly that he won’t commit himself to any translocation deadline because it was for the Centre and the ministry of environment and forest to decide. He said the state government was yet to receive a draft of the tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the union ministry and forest departments of Gujarat and MP.
Once MP and Gujarat give their inputs, the final draft would be submitted to the law ministry.
Sources told The Indian Express that after the December 19 meeting in MP, the committee of experts hasn’t met again though it was supposed to meet in Gir. In the December 19 meeting, most members had addressed concerns raised by Gujarat.
According to the summary record of the meeting, Gujarat had again tried to delay the translocation by insisting for the findings of 33 ecological studies suggested by it before finalizing the action plan. The Gujarat government was told that seven studies were completed and 12 studies were not required to be conducted. Most members felt finalisation of the action plan and the remaining studies could go on simultaneously.
However, MP has also not kept it word on notifying additional area for the sanctuary from the existing 343 sq kms. The meeting had decided that MP would complete the formality to declare Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary as Kuno National Park before February 28. MP has proposed to increase the area to 758 sq km by shifting 195 families from Bagcha village.
Congress and BJP MLAs who took part in the discussion in the Assembly wanted the MP government to expedite the process because tribal families have been moved out long ago in anticipation of the translocation that was mooted more than two decades ago.
In April 2013, the SC had given six months for translocation of lions and in August 2014 rejected the curative petition, the last effort to scuttle translocation. RTI activist Ajay Dubey, who has moved a contempt petition in the SC, said the delay was surprising because the forest ministry was now headed by Anil Dave, a Rajya Sabha member from MP.