Aside

Soon Goa beaches will be tree-less

coconut treePANAJI: Coconut trees are no longer considered trees in the Indian state of Goa, where authorities have reclassified them in order to allow farmers to more easily cut them down.

Officials say they dropped the cocus nucifer from Goa’s official list of trees in order to help coconut farmers cull old or ailing stands without having to deal with red tape.

Environmentalists and opposition lawmakers have accused the state of catering to industry and developers.

Opposition legislator Vijai Sardesai says the move will not benefit farmers, but will help real estate interests cut down coconut groves for development plots.

State forest minister Rajendra Arlekar has defended the decision to amend the law forbidding the felling of certain trees without permission, saying coconut trees should never have been on the list – From AP

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