Gir forest sanctuary roads to be closed during nights
The Gujarat forest and environment department has banned entry of vehicles on the roads passing through Gir National Park and Sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic Lions, at night.
The move by the forest department will give a much needed relief to the wildlife in the Gir as about 10 important roads pass through the sanctuary. This step will decrease the risk of accident to animals and also save it from noise pollution.
"The forest department has taken this step to ensure safety of lions and other animals in the wildlife sanctuary.
Earlier, some cases of injury to animal were recorded due to accident caused by vehicular traffic in the Gir forest area," Principal secretary forest and environment department S K Nanda told PTI.
"This is the season of arrivals of new lion cubs and at this time it is very important that they get peace at least in nights," Nanda said.
"Only in case of emergencies, we will allow vehicular traffic from the protected forest areas at nights," Nanda further said.
As per the last survey conducted by the state forest department in 2010, Gir has a population of 411 Asiatic lions and numerous other animals.
The protected area under the sanctuary is about 900 square kms but lions are also usually found straying in the peripheral villages of Gir. About 10 important roads pass through the Gir connecting districts of Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Porbandar and even union territory of Diu, forest officials said.
The state forest department has also taken initiative to construct speed breakers at regular intervals on the roads so as to control the speed of vehicular traffic during the day also, forest department officials said.
Local population had opposed the earlier plan of the state forest department to close down the roads at night as travel distance between places increases for them.