Gujarat High Court seeks reply from railway ministry, state over lion deaths

The court asked the railway ministry to submit what measures it can take to prevent the occurrence of such incidents


Gujarat High Court

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Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 05:45 AM IST

Concerned over the series of lion deaths in train accidents, the Gujarat High Court on Friday sought a reply from the railway ministry and state government over the steps that they can take to prevent such cases.

Taking cognisance of the incident wherein three lions died after being run over by a train in Amreli earlier this week, the high court's division bench, headed by Justice SR Brahmbhatt, issued a notice to railway ministry as well as the state government.

The court asked the railway ministry to submit what measures it can take to prevent the occurrence of such incidents. It also directed the state government to file a reply in the matter. Both were asked to file their replies by January 16.

During the hearing, authorities submitted before the high court bench that the three lion deaths in a train accident had taken place at a significant distance from the unfenced stretch of the railway tracks.

In June 2018, railway had said in an affidavit in the high court that out of 86 km stretch of railways that passes through Gir forest, fencing work on only six km was pending. It had assured that the work would be completed within six months.

Incidentally, on October 17, the high court had already directed the state government to submit a progress report of steps taken for preventing lion deaths due to open wells, electrocution and spread of virus. The state was asked to submit the report by January 15.

Cub dies, lioness injured

A lion cub died in a road accident in Amreli, while a lioness was injured after being hit by a train, also in Amreli, last night, officials said. The incidents come three days after three lions were crushed by a train in Amreli.

Forest department officials said that a female lion cub, aged 1-2 years, sustained injuries in an accident on Mithapur road in Rajula range at around 9:00 last night. The cub was sent to the rescue centre at Babarkot for treatment, but it could not be saved and passed away in the night.

In another case, a lioness was injured after being hit by a goods train near Uncheya village of Rajula between 1:00 and 2:00 am last night. The lioness is under treatment, officials said.

ORDER ORDER

  • The court asked the railway ministry to submit what measures it can take to prevent the occurrence of such incidents.   
  • It directed the state government to file a reply in the matter. Both were asked to file their replies by January 16.