The “Save Coconut Chipko Satyagraha” protest movement led by Prajal Sakhardande along with four MLAs, Goa Heritage Action Group along with members of Goa’s Movement for Special Status, Goa Forgiving, Goan for Education, GenNext, Goa Su-raj party held up traffic on the national highway for almost an hour protesting against the government’s decision to declassify coconut as tree. The protest was held on Monday at 10 am at the Guirim-Mapusa highway.
Protestors numbering around 50 showed their solidarity to the coconut palm by hugging the coconut trees along the Guirim highway and appealed to the government not to destroy the coconut palm by declassifying the status of the coconut palm to that of grass. The three Independent MLAs who joined the protest were Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte, Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai and Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal along with Congress MLA from Curtorim Aleixo Reginald Lourenco.
Prajal Sakhardande president of the Goa Heritage Action Group said that the present government is anti environment and against natural heritage by destroying trees. He said that this clearly shows a nexus between builders and the government to destroy hills and Goa’s beauty.
Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte who spoke at the protest said that by declassifying coconut as a tree, the government is keeping the main issues by the side and focusing on irrelevant things.
Congress MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenço also condemned the BJP government’s decision for their anti environmental stand.