Finally, BJP led government managed to pass the coconut bill in assembly – the Report

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To enable the cutting of palm trees easier without the permission of forest department, BJP led government has came with the new concept which claims that the coconut tree is not the tree. Please read the complete report here…

It is highly shocking fact that was revealed by the local newspaper HERALDO in its December 2015 edition which has claimed that, to facilitate the project of the distillery in Sanguem Village promoted by the Vani Agro under the wings of local MLA the amendment has been tabled in the assembly. According to their report, The Vani Group is in the process of setting up of their unit on the land having 500 palm trees and to avoid the hassles of Forest Department the government has sought the shortcut of passing the bill in assembly session this year.

There was a huge protest against the decision of government; opposition came out on the road with “CHIPKO” mission to protect the Palm Trees. Today the BJP led government finally managed to pass the most controversial “Coconut Bill” with majority votes and while opposition decided to walk out of the assembly hall in the protest of the bill.

According to the new rule (bill), the coconut trees has been deleted from section 1A which denotes the word coconut in the definition of the tree and the same has been added to section 2A which deals with felling the trees in the ruinous state. According to the environment minister who also holds the portfolio of forest ministry the new amendment has been brought to benefit the common man and to protect the coconut trees and not facilitate the cutting of coconut trees as projected by the opposition.

The opposition had blamed the government of bringing the bill in heist without referring the same to the select committee or making the present amendment after introducing the Coconut Protection Act.

According to the sources, the Definition of Tree it must have the branches, certain girth and height from the ground and since the Coconut Tree does not have the branches it was not included in the original act of 1984.

The former chief minister Digambar Kamat claimed that during his tenure he amended the Goa Preservation of Trees Act and that helped in stopping the cutting of coconut trees and enhanced the productivity of coconuts in the state. According to Kamat, once upon a time, Goa was one of the major states that used to export the coconuts to other states but lately the figure dropped and Goa started importing the coconuts for the consumption. But Arlekar rebutted the claims of Kamat saying that the former amendments had errors and it leads to generating the problems, although he failed to answer the question raised by Kamat as how the new amendments are meant for protecting the coconut trees.

Arlekar also alleged the opposition of misleading the people of Goa on the issue of Coconut Tree and trying to make it a secular issue. He taunted Sardesai without taking his name “People with a degree in agriculture built the bungalow by cutting the coconut trees and now talking about the protecting the same.”

The opposition has warned the government of further agitation and demanded the opinion poll on the new amendment. Only the time will tell how this new amendment is going to protect felling of fruit-bearing coconut trees, meanwhile, the allegations of the opposition seem to have a substance in it. Please do leave your valuable comments and suggestions on this serious issue.

Source: Various Sources.  

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