Thursday, March 29, 2018

Take lion deaths seriously: HC to Centre

| Mar 27, 2018, 06:22 ISTAHMEDABAD : The Gujarat high court on Monday sought a reply from the Centre and the state government on the issue of unnatural deaths of Asiatic lions in and around the Gir sanctuary. A bench of Chief Justice R S Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi filed a public interest litigation (PIL) suo motu in response to a letter written to them by Justice A S Dave, who expressed concern over the endangered species by citing news reports on lions’ unnatural deaths as revealed in the state assembly recently. The state government had said that 184 lions had died over the past two years and many deaths were due to unnatural causes.

During the hearing, the judges said that lions’ unnatural deaths is a really serious issue and the governments must not take it lightly. The court said the governments should not treat the PIL as adversarial, for it is aimed to protect a rare species of animals which is found only in Gujarat. The state is proud of this and the government should make all endeavours to protect the animals so that the treasure can be cherished, the court said.

According to the high court’s advocate, Hemang Shah, the PIL has made various prayers in order to avoid unnatural and accidental deaths of lions. The first demand is to close three main roads, passing through the sanctuary, at night. Railway tracks criss-crossing the forests too are a major concern.

The railways’ proposal to erect a grill along the track is not a viable option, for it would only block lions’ natural corridor. Hence there should be a device installed in locomotives to detect the presence of the beasts

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