Goa Government blamed by Parliamentary Standing Committee on implementation of environment laws

A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests which was headed by  Rajya Sabha member Ashwini Kumar blamed the BJP-led Goa government for its “tardy implementation of environmental laws and regulations.”

The committee also opposed the State government for its recent amendment to the Preservation of Trees Act de-recognising the coconut palm as a tree and had recommended a review of the controversial amendment.

He clearly stated that, “This issue of the definition of forests in which a coconut tree in Goa is not regarded as a tree, which we found and we have recommended that a review of the definition of tree be undertaken”.

However the Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar, defended the amendment, by stating that a coconut palm did not fit into the definition of a tree and that the amendment was aimed at resolving the hassles of red tape faced by farmers and others while doing away with unproductive coconut trees.