Ahmedabad. 31: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has given preliminary approval to a Rs 1,200 crore project lion. Under this project, care will be taken to conserve lions and increase adequate food for them. The proposal has been sent to the Cabinet for final approval. This project will be for a period of 10 years. The project will be managed under the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), sources in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests said. Some Gujarat officials and state experts on lions will be deputed to NTCA for Project Lion.
Under the project, NTCA will develop a hunting area for lions and create a habitable environment for lions in the coastal belt as well as other areas, sources said. Such areas include Bhavnagar’s Umat Virdi, Gir, Girnar, Mitiyala, Jessore-Hipawadi, Babra Virdi, Hingolgarh and the coastal strip from Rajula to Jafrabad.
Under the project, a National Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Center will be set up in Saurashtra. The center will pay special attention to the diseases of lions and check the causes when a lion dies. In addition, a special hospital will be set up to treat lions. Project Lion will also cover open wells in the forest and construct a parapet wall around the well. Artificial ponds will also be constructed in areas with lions to water the lions.
200 forest friends will be recruited in this project. These forest friends will inform the forest department of any suspicious activity regarding lions and also provide information on the movement of lions in the forest. It will provide live information on the movement of lions in the department.
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