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PM Modi said that the government will soon start a project for conservation of Asiatic lions
New Delhi: From starting projects for conservation of Gangetic dolphins and Asiatic lions to making Ladakh carbon neutral, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced his government’s plans to protect the environment.
Delivering his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day, the Prime Minister said, “A special campaign is being worked on to reduce pollution in 100 selected cities with a holistic approach”.
Announcing big plans for Ladakh, he said, “As Sikkim has carved out its identity as an organic state, efforts are being made to make Ladakh a carbon-neutral region.”
According to officials, Ladakh has 0.1 percent of the country’s total emissions.
Carbon neutrality means achieving a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing it from the atmosphere in the carbon sink.
Talking of a push to the country’s biodiversity, Modi announced a 10-year project to conserve the Ganges dolphin, which was declared a national aquatic animal in 2010.
Project Dolphin aims to provide a strong momentum for the conservation of the species along the lines of Project Tiger and Project Elephant.
In India, these dolphins reach the long, deep river in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
According to official figures, there are about 3700 galactic dolphins in the Indian river systems.
The Prime Minister also said that the government would soon start a project for the conservation of the Asiatic lions.
He appreciated the country’s efforts in increasing the number of tigers and lions in recent times.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, Project Lion will incorporate modern techniques in habitat development, lion management and address the issue of diseases in lions and related species through advanced, world-class research and veterinary care.
A spokesman for the ministry said that the project would address the issue of human-wildlife conflict, involve local communities living in areas around the lions landscape and also provide livelihood opportunities.
A report released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change earlier this year said that the population of Asiatic lions living in the Gir forest of Gujarat has increased by 29 percent, to 674 from 523 in 2015. 2020.
According to the 2018 tiger census, the figures released in 2019, India’s wild tiger population increased by more than 30 percent in four years, the census announced 2,967 big cats, up from 2,226 four years ago.
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