Unfairly attacked on coconut palm, vermin issues: Goa CM

Panaji, Feb 24 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday accused the opposition and the media of unfairly attacking his coalition government over de-recognition of coconut palm as tree and on wild animals that destroyed crops.

“We have never called coconut grass. How are you putting it in our mouths? How are you publishing this?” Parsekar said during a media interaction at his official residence here.

Last month, the Goa assembly passed a controversial amendment to the Goa, Daman and Diu Protection of Trees Act which de-recognised the coconut palm as a tree in order to allow farmers to cut down old and non-productive trees, without red tape.

The Act, according to the opposition, also makes felling of coconut groves easy for real estate development.

On the issue of declaring wild animals vermin, Parsekar said leader of the opposition in Goa assembly Pratapsing Rane himself had requested for classification of some species of monkeys and wild boar as vermin.

“Rane raised the issue in the assembly and said monkeys and wild boar were troubling us,” Parsekar said, while ruling out the inclusion of the Indian bison and peacock from the list of potentially vermin wild animals and bird.

Parsekar also said that the state chief secretary had been asked to form a committee to examine which animal caused damage to farm and horticulture crops the most and could be declared as vermin.

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