Must shift rail tracks, shutdown quarries to save Gir lions: Gujarat HC told

Must shift rail tracks, shutdown quarries to save Gir lions: Gujarat HC told

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Shifting rail tracks out of the Gir forest and shutting down all stone quarries located around it are some of the steps suggested to save lions in a report submitted to the Gujarat High Court Thursday. The Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the forest spread across several Gujarat districts, is the last abode of Asiatic lions in the world.

The steps were suggested in the report submitted to the division bench of Justices S R Brahmbhatt and A P Thaker by senior advocate Hemang Shah, who was appointed amicus curiae in the matter by the HC last year when it admitted a PIL over the issue of death of Gir lions. After taking into consideration the findings of the report, the bench asked the state government to file its reply and posted the matter for further hearing on July 11.

In his report, Shah pointed out that lions are being run over by trains which ply through the forest area. He said at least 20 goods trains pass through the forest area and most of them run during night, a time when lions come out for hunting and try to cross the tracks. Shah stated that a suggestion, made earlier by a lawyer, to construct elevated corridor for trains inside the forest, is not feasible.

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