Panaji, March 14 (IANS) The coconut palm may well be on its way to be classified as a tree, if an assurance given by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was sworn in on Tuesday, is fulfilled.
Speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan grounds, Parrikar was asked will the coconut palm, which was deleted from definition of the tree by the former BJP-led coalition’s Environment and Forest Ministry, be classified as a tree again?
“Vijai has already conveyed to me his anxiety over that issue and I have told him that it is a very minor issue and we would do the necessary amendment,” Parrikar said.
The Opposition as well as civil society accused the previous BJP-led coalition government of dropping the tree status accorded to the coconut tree by amending the Goa Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act 1984 in 2016 to unfairly hasten real estate and industrial development at the cost of environment.
Vijai Sardesai, then an opposition MLA had accused the government and then Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar of trying to destroy Goa and its natural heritage by reducing coconut palms to the status of grass.
In the run up to the 2017 assembly elections, Sardesai, as a Goa Forward candidate had led an anti-BJP campaign, before eventually joining a BJP-led coalition government. He was inducted into the Parrikar-led cabinet as minister along with eight others on Tuesday.