Gurugram: If all goes according to the plan, soon the residents of Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) may not have to go to Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh to view Gir lions.
The Haryana government is mulling over the possibility of setting up the lion safari park on the lines of one created in Etawah in Uttar Pradesh in the Aravallis of southern Haryana regions.
The state government has begun discussions with the Gujarat government and have begun the preparation to create the ecosystem wherein the Gir lions can thrive in the ecosystem of a new geography.
There are plans to earmark around 600 hectares of forest land for the carnivorous creature. The forest cover of Gurugram, Rewari and Mahendragarh are being considered for the creation of the wildlife park.
The decision comes at a time when the centuries old forest cover of Aravallis that has adorned the south- western regions of Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan is rapidly losing its green cover.
The recent report by the Wildlife Institute of India revealed that in last 16 years, the productivity of Aravallis land have reduced to 5,495 square kilometres to 5,235 square kilometres.
The report also warns that if the trends of deterioration of Aravallis continue, large parts of Aravallis will turn into a desert area.
The state government is also facing widespread criticism from the environmental activists for felling of more than 7,000 trees in the Aravallis area in Faridabad for a realty project.
There are as many as 30 cases that are held up in various courts regarding illegal encroachment of Aravallis in Gurugram. There have also been reports of illegal mining still occurring in the forest area.
There have also been cases where incidents of tree felling have been reported from Aravallis in Gurugram because of the upcoming realty projects.
Even though there have been a slight reduction, there is still a rich diversity of wildlife found in the green area that includes leopards, hyenas, nilgais, civet cats and rabbits.
There are also a large numbers of exotic birds that abound the green belt area during breeding seasons.