Green signal for lion safari park in UP ~ KANPUR: The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) finally gave a green signal to the state government to set up a lion safari park in an area of 150.83 hectare in fisher forests of Etawah district for conservation of Asiatic Lions.
The Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) had, in July 2012, objected to the cutting of 30,000 babool trees undertaken in the fisher forest area, a reserved forest, in Etawah, for the development of lion safari project. It had then sent a letter to the principal secretary, forest on July 1, 2012, asking authorities to stop work immediately terming it as a violation of the Forest Conservation Act. The minister of state for forests Dr Shiv Pratap Yadav, during his visit to Fisher forest area in Etawah on Saturday, also apprised the media persons of the Centre’s positive response to the much ambitious project of the state.
“The ministry of environment and forests has given an NOC after we had sought a clarification in April over the implementation of provisions of Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980 in the Fisher forest despite having obtained the clearance of Central Zoo Authority in February this year,” said the minister. As per the MoEF’s own guidelines dated November 13, 2007, provisions of FCA were not applicable in forest areas even after having final approval of master plan from Central Zoo Authority.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav first came up with the idea of the lion safari project in 2005 but it could not take shape further in BSP regime in 2007.
In March 2012, soon after the Samajwadi Party government came to power, the state government quickly followed up the proposal so as to revive the project.
According to the forest department officials, the proposed lion safari would play a major role in conservation of the Asiatic Lions who were facing a serious threat to their survival.
“Apart from the in-situ conservation (on-site conservation or the conservation of genetic resources in natural populations of plant or animal species), the proposed lion safari would also play a major role in ex-situ conservation (off-site conservation), which is the process of protecting an endangered specie of a plant or animal outside its natural habitat,” said Sujoy Banerjee, deputy conservator of forest, National Chambal Sanctuary.
“Chief minister had already approved a budget of Rs 86 crore out of which 56 crore would be spent on construction work,” said Yadav. June 2015 has been set as a deadline for the construction work regarding the project, he added.
Four Asiatic Lions have already been brought to Kanpur Zoo and Lucknow Zoo from Hyderabad zoo and Rajkot zoo, recently. The government has authorized Uttar Pradesh Awas Vikas Parishad for the construction and execution of the lion safari. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/Green-signal-for-lion-safari-park-in-UP/articleshow/20129431.cms