Gujarat: Watchful HC Tells Railways To Protect Lions

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Gujarat: Watchful HC Tells Railways To Protect Lions

| Updated: June 27, 2024 10:14

The Gujarat government has said that a high-level committee has been formed to protect the lions in Gir Sanctuary from railway accidents. The committee, consisting of senior officers of the state forest department and Indian Railways, is working to find out ways to protect the lions’ movement in co-existence with the railway traffic within the sanctuary.

Additional Advocate General Manisha Lav Kumar was informing the Division Bench High Court, headed by Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal, during the hearing of Suo MoMotu, PIL. She said that an inquiry into fixing the roles of the forest department officials and Western Railway at the divisional level, as was directed by the High Court, is also in progress.

The division bench of the Gujarat High Court had directed the Gujarat Forest and Environment Department to form a joint committee with the Ministry of Railways and prepare the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for safeguarding the Asiatic lions.

Three more lions were killed after passing trains ran over them in the month of January. The High Court expressed it’s deep concern and demanded to know from the railways what it thought of fencing and speeding trains in the Sanctuary area.

The High Court demanded a status report on the conversion of the tracks at the Amreli-Khijadiya section from metre gauge to the broad gauge. It also sought that a joint progress report affidavit be prepared by the Railways and the forest department for submission to the High Court on July 12.

The Gujarat High Court had taken up the Suo Moto application in 2018 regarding the untimely deaths of lions due to railway movement within the sanctuary. The hearing was conducted before the bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Pranav Trivedi.

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