Bhupender Yadav visited Gir National Park to review Project Lion
In the weeks after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Forests, led by senior MP Jairam Ramesh, visited Gujarat between May 1 and 4, Cabinet Minister for Forests and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav’s visit to Gir National Park became important before the Lion Reserve closes for the monsoon season.
The Cabinet minister, director general of GOI (forest and environment), secretary and member secretary of National Tiger Conservation, state forest and environment minister Kiritsinh Rana and Jagdish Panchal are in Gir National Park for review of Project Lion in Gujarat.
Highly placed sources in the forest department said that forest minister Yadav is likely to address a press conference regarding the launch and review of Project Lion.
A team of forest department is already in Gir to discuss various aspects of the project in Gir and adjoining areas where lions are found.
The Gujarat government had sought assistance of Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre for Project Lion. It was modelled on Project Tiger and Project Elephant which was announced by PM Narendra Modi in August 2020.
The main idea of the project is to avert the risk of extinction of Asiatic lions, secure and manage lion habitat on a sustainable basis. Under Project Lion, the state government aims to establish a National Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Centre with for about Rs 71 crore.
A lion cell is also envisioned in the Union ministry of environment and forest for an investment of Rs 31.65 crore.
Sources said lion breeding gene pools have been started at Rampara in Saurashtra, Sakkarbaug and Satveerada in Junagadh.