Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×

Panaji: Goa government’s decision to de-recognise coconut palm as a tree was slammed by a parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests on Saturday.

The committee, headed by Rajya Sabha member Ashwani Kumar, blamed the state government for its “tardy implementation of environmental laws and regulation”, and recommended a review of the controversial legislation.


Addressing a press conference, following a day-long discussion with state government officials, tourism and mining industry stakeholders and civil society groups, Ashwani Kumar said: “There was the issue of the definition of forests in which a coconut tree in Goa is not regarded as a tree, is regarded as grass which we found extremely unusual.

“We have recommended that a review of the definition of tree, under the tree protection act be undertaken,” he said.

“In law, we have to see the net effect of things. If the absence of a clear and an unambiguous description of a particular species, leads to its destruction, then surely the law will need to be changed,” he said.

The Opposition as well as civil society has repeatedly accused the BJP-led coalition government of amending the Goa Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984 and dropping the tree status accorded to the coconut palm in order to hasten real estate and industrial development at the cost of the environment.

State Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar has defended the amendment, saying a coconut palm does not fit the definition of a tree even botanically.

Ashwani Kumar, then a union minister for law and justice in the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance government, also found fault with the Goa government’s track record on implementation of green laws.

He said the parliamentary committee has directed that a representative of the union ministry of environment and forests should engage with the state government to “find ways and means to implement in letter and spirit all possible laws intended to protect the environment”.

“We have put on record our displeasure at the tardy implementation of environmental laws and regulation,” he said.

Ashwani Kumar also raised the issue of the Investment Promotion Board, which was set up by the Goa government to facilitate speedy clearances.

“We also discussed about the single window clearances accorded by the Investment (Promotion) Board of Goa whereby a general exemption was given (vis a vis) obtaining of various clearances.

“It’s not the right way to go about it. We believe that in non-notified industrial areas also, the requirement of obtaining all clearances was necessary,” he said.


Popular

Photo by Martin de Arriba on Unsplash

Diwali is known for gifting and jewellery tops the list, with the focus on buying gold and diamonds.

Diwali is known for gifting and jewellery tops the list, with the focus on buying gold and diamonds. ORRA jewellery, a trusted diamond jewellery brand is gearing up for the festive and bridal season. As they open their 50th store in the country, IANSlife caught up with Dipu Mehta, Managing Director, ORRA, to find out how the company plans to ramp up its now 50 company-owned and operated stores, expanding its retail presence in Tier-1 and 2 cities and target the millennial segment.

Read Excerpts:

Q: The brand is expanding in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, is brick and mortar the way forward to create a presence in this segment?

A: ORRA currently is expanding in metros plus tier-2 cities. But we aren't opening stores in any new markets. We are only opening in markets where we are already present. We are increasing the number of stores within cities as the demand for jewellery buying has also increased. Currently, we are present in 25 cities with 50 stores, and by the end of the month, we would be launching another seven stores.
Also with a category like jewellery, it is important to have brick and mortar stores as the customers like to see and hold higher value jewellery before purchasing. Jewellery buying is an important decision to the customers and having a store gives them that assurance.

ORRA logo ORRA currently is expanding in metros plus tier-2 cities. | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

The Centre on Wednesday directed all Union Ministries and Departments to clear Air India's dues immediately.

The Centre on Wednesday directed all Union Ministries and Departments to clear Air India's dues immediately. An office memorandum from the Finance Ministry's Department of Expenditure said: "Recently, the Government of India has decided to disinvest Air India, and the process of disinvestment of Air India and Air India Express is ongoing."

"Air India has stopped extending credit facilities on account of purchase of air tickets. Therefore, all Ministries or Departments are directed to clear Air India's dues immediately." "Air tickets from Air India may be purchased in cash till further instructions."



In 2009, the Centre had mandated that Central government officers travel via Air India for all official purposes including availing of LTC. On Monday, conglomerate Tata Group entered into a share purchase agreement with the Central government for buying out the latter's stake in national carrier Air India, Air India Express, and AISATS.

Keep Reading Show less
Pixabay

Sports betting has become increasingly popular among the youth in recent times

Sports betting has been around for centuries for the audience to not only watch the sport but to get more deeply involved in the match. It is a fun and often profitable activity for the viewer to win some extra fortune or simply get some extra sweat while watching the game. At first glance, sports betting may look like it's pure luck, but when you indulge deeper into the activity you realize it is more of a calculative and research activity than just pure luck. We must note that yes, luck does play a certain role to some extend but a win is not completely dependent on luck, if you're putting your bets on a certain team you have to make sure to do some research about the players on the team, history of wins and losses of the team and compare the probability of winning and then place bets.

Even though sports betting has existed since the ancient era, it was not until recently that it became increasingly popular among the youth. This happened due to the legalization of the activity and the rise of online sports betting. The technological revolution has expanded the sports betting industry, offering the bettors new markets and ways to bet. The only major difference between online bookmarkers and traditional brick-and-mortar venues of sports betting is that now you can place bets online from your mobile devices, laptops, computers etc.

Keep reading... Show less