Panaji, Jan 13: Amid several protests, the government has tabled an amendment to Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act in the state Assembly session, which will classify coconut as a palm and not a tree.
State Environment Minister Rajendra Arlekar moved Goa Preservation of Trees (amendment) Bill 2016 on the floor of the House on Monday, deleting coconut from the purview of 'tree' and to classify it as 'palm'.
The bill seeks to increase the fees for tree feeling or compounding offences from the existing Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000. It seeks to omit section 1-A of the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act 1984.
"The bill also seeks to amend Section 12-A of the said Act, so as to bring coconut tree within the provision of the said section 12-A," it reads.
Further, the bill also seeks to substitute section 10 of the Act so as to provide that the person shall be bound to plant tree if he has felled or disposed of the tree as specified.
Last month, the state Cabinet had approved an amendment to Goa Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act-1984.
Various sections, including Opposition parties, had objected to the reclassification of coconut plant as a palm from tree, fearing that it would result in its large-scale felling.