Vadodara: Group president of Reliance
Industries Ltd and MP Parimal Nathwani has demanded that the
`Gir Lions Project` should be headed by Prime Minister
Nathwani, president of the Vadodara Stock Exchange
Limited, has also demanded that the Asiatic lion should be
made the national animal, replacing the tiger.
"It is a high time that a the Gir lions project be
headed by not less than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the
lines of the `Project Tiger`," Nathwani told over phone
"I met Union Minister of State for Environment and
Forest Jayanti Natarajan and discussed the matter with her,"
Nathwani said that according to Natarajan, the Bengal
tiger continues to be the national animal as there is no
proposal under consideration to replace it with the Asiatic
Nathwani added that the cause of the Gir lions is
close to his heart and he would continue to take it up to
He said that he has requested the government to set
aside more funds for the cause.
The Planning Commission has given an in-principle
approval to a project for `Conservation of Asiatic lion in
Greater Gir Region` to be implemented by Government of Gujarat
over a period of five years at a cost of Rs 262.36 crore,
which includes Centre`s assistance of Rs 236.63 crore.
According to estimates, there are around 411 Asiatic
lions in Gir National Park and other areas of Greater Gir as
per the last Gir lions census conducted in April 2010.